Identity theft could happen to anyone. It is a criminal offense in which a person intends to acquire an identification of another person and uses it without proper authorization as he adopts it as it was his own. Most often, the purpose is for financial gain. A criminal may gather information by tapping a phone call, listening to conversations, hacking passwords and banking information over the internet, etc.

Here are some tips on how to prevent identity theft before further substantial damage might be inflicted to a person’s status, credit and advantages:

• Be wary in providing information to others especially to strangers regardless of the time and place. Always ask questions whenever being asked for information.

• Keep checkbooks, documents and credit cards safely locked especially when you are away.

• Lost items should be reported right away like credit cards, licenses and other materials or documents, which contain any personal data.

• Have a consumer credit report yearly. Keep a list of your monetary accounts. Immediately correct errors on credit reports.

• Do not append credit card numbers through emails.

• If possible, do not bring extra credit cards when going shopping.

• Protect yourself from swindlers that tell you, you won an amount or a prize from a contest and might ask you to submit personal or financial account.

• As much as possible, bring your mail directly to post offices. Information may be stolen by leaving your mail in mail boxes.

• Be watchful for some people who would snoop around and listen to conversations when making phone calls in phone booths.

• Memorize passwords rather than writing them on pieces of materials. Be careful when surfing on internet cafés and shops. Some might acquire passwords by using key logging software. Do not allow computers to remember email accounts and passwords.

Adopting these tips would reduce such risks. It is better to make preventive measures before things totally go wrong.

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