Studies Show that the Holiday Season is a time of higher identity theft.
1 in 4 U.S. households has been a victim of identity theft in the past five years.
10 million people a year are victimized identity theft.
The cost to victims was $5 billion in out-of-pocket expenses.
Average out-of-pocket loss for victims: $500
Hours spent per victim resolving the problem as shown by identity theft statistics: 30
Hours spent resolving problem: 297 million (Source: FTC identity theft survey report)
1/3 of identity theft victims report that the thieves committed check fraud
66% of victims' personal information is used to open a new credit account in their name
28% of victims' personal information is used to purchase cell phone service
12% of victims end up having warrants issued in their name for financial crimes committed by the identity thief
Tips for Preventing Identity Theft:
*Shred Personal Financial Documents
*Use your credit card and not your Debit Card or Checks
*Leave Purse/Wallet in the Trunk When Shopping
*Carefully Review your Statements
*Only Shop on Secure Websites
*Pull Your Credit Report Once a Year
*Don’t Put Your DOB, SSN and Drivers License on Your Checks
*Don’t Give Your Credit/Debit Card Info Over the Phone
*Obscure Your Entry of PIN Number When Making Purchases
*Utilize a Credit Monitoring Service, i.e. LifeLock
*Do not Make Purchases Over Free Public Wi-Fi Connections
What Do I Do if I am a Victim of Identity Theft?
*Contact law enforcement to make a report of the identity theft.
*Contact all credit card companies and banks to report the theft.
*Contact credit reporting companies to alert them of the theft Equifax, Experian and Trans Union