This is the first post in a new series I am writing about on Identity Theft, a popular crime in the world these days. I will touch upon on the topics ranging from but not limited to how does Identity theft happen and the ‘usual’ victims profile to taking care of your identity while shopping at the malls and online and also protecting it even while at home! I might not be talking about all aspects of Identity theft as you can appreciate since this is a HUGE topic. But I will try my best to show some justice to our subject and hopefully you will be able to glean some valuable insights about appropriately protecting your identity in today’s world by the end of this series. So without further adieu, may I present to you the first post in the Identity Theft series…
Identity Theft- What Criminals are Looking For in a Victim
Identity theft has shed more negative light on the virtual world than perhaps any other issue. Today, people don’t have to rob you face to face or go to the bank to steal money. They don’t just want your money these days…they want your very existence.
Identity thieves are a whole new breed of remorseless criminals. They hunt for opportunities, but they also hunt for specific types of victims. You need to be aware of the types of victims they are looking for.
Criminals are known to “case a joint” before they ever make a move on it. Identity theft is no different. Criminals are looking for specific traits for a few different reasons.
Have you ever noticed that people in mansions and nicer homes are not robbed nearly as often as the upper middle class types? Why? There are two reasons: high profile and security. A mansion is far more likely to have a sound security system simply because the owners can afford it. The people and items in the mansion have a much higher profile that the guy in the suburbs too, so they are more likely to stand out. It is much easier to find a crooked buyer for a Toyota than a Mercedes.
Your credit works the same way. If you have perfect credit, you are probably on top of your financial situation and have plenty of safeguards in place to secure it. If you are just in the “good” zone, you are likely an Average Joe that won’t have extended protection on your credit profile. To a criminal, you are low profile with minimal security. In that situation, you are a prime target for identity theft.
You Simply Weren’t Looking
Privacy today means something completely different than it used to. In the past, you kept family matters at home, went through your bills on a regular basis, and you only kept your birthday to yourself because you were modest. Today privacy means keeping all of your personal information offline, shredding or burning the bills when you are done with them, and using encrypted emails. Today you almost have to be paranoid or you become exactly what an identity thief is looking for.
Identity thieves want low profile people who make it easy to gain access to their personal information. The easy targets are the ones who love to discuss their latest shopping spree, announce when they are going on vacation, and have no idea that they are almost begging to be robbed in some way or other.
What criminals are looking for is unprotected data. If you want to keep your identity safe, you need to keep your information safe. Don’t share personal information online and always safeguard your personal documents, right down to shredding the electric bill. Make sure your credit accounts have safety precautions in place. Change your passwords frequently and don’t use things like birthdays and other obvious passwords. In short, don’t become the perfect identity theft victim.