identity theft

It’s important to work hard on protecting yourself financially these days. There are people who are skilled at obtaining your credit card numbers, your social security number, and your online passwords. Many people have been duped into revealing sensitive information, but some of these crooks are so skilled that they don’t even need your help to get information on you.

By obtaining your social security number, criminals can take credit out in your name, spend like there’s no tomorrow, then never pay any of the bills, leaving your name and your credit trashed. They can get illegal passports, and do all sorts of things with your number.

By getting access to your online passwords, they can gain access into anything you do online, which could include banking and using your credit cards on certain sites. They don’t care as much about the merchandise as much as what they can do with it once they’ve got it.

Something else you need to be wary of is automated teller machines. Over the last few years, criminals have learned how to slip something into a bank machine that will capture your codes and the card numbers, and automatically withdraw money out of your account. And they can have that money sent anywhere in the world. Luckily, almost every bank will give you your money back, because some of them can track illegal activity, but it can take a few weeks, and you could be in need of that cash.

One thing you need to do is make sure you’re monitoring your credit. You can get a free credit report once a year from all three credit reporting companies through a government program, which is a good start. You might also want to look into a credit monitoring service through companies such as FreeCreditReport.com, which not only checks what’s going on with your accounts on a monthly basis, but will also tell you what’s going on with your credit score.

And one last thing; never give your passwords, accounts numbers, or social security numbers to anyone asking for them online, no matter who they say they are, if you get an email asking for it. No reputable company in the world will ever send you something asking for this information.