Did you know that in 2016 alone, 10 percent of Americans aged 16 or older reported that they had been a victim of identity theft within the previous 12-month period? While most people work to protect their banking information at the ATM and online, there are many different ways that you could fall victim to identity theft. To better protect yourself and prevent identity theft, there are a few key steps that you can take. In addition to investing in comprehensive identity theft insurance from your local New York insurance agency, it’s essential to learn more about the various types of identity theft and some of the most efficient ways to protect your private information from prying eyes. Keep reading to learn more.
5 Common Types of Identity Theft
1. Mail Identity Theft
Perhaps one of the oldest ways to steal someone else’s personal information, mail identity fraud is still very common in the modern digital age. If your mail is stolen by a thief, they may be able to access your financial information and make purchases by opening new lines of credit. Additionally, with access to your mail, thieves can change the address on your credit card statements and bills. To prevent this from happening, it can be helpful to invest in a locking mailbox or even pay for a post office box.
2. Driver’s License Theft
This is the most common form of identity theft affecting Americans today. When someone steals your ID card, they can use it to buy things in your name or use it to get other forms of identification with their picture on it instead—which can result in criminal identity theft. If your driver’s license or ID card has been stolen, it is recommended that you add an initial security alert to your credit file as an extra layer of protection.
3. Credit Card Fraud
When someone steals your credit or debit card, they can easily use it to make unauthorized online purchases. In many cases, they don’t even need your physical card to access your account information. Experienced credit card thieves can steal your credit card account number, PIN, and security codes via illegal ATM attachments and start making purchases immediately. To avoid falling victim to this scam, it’s always important to tug on the card reader on every ATM that you use. If it feels loose or you notice anything strange about the device, don’t use it and contact someone at your banking establishment to report the issue.
4. Online Shopping Fraud
Online shopping is a convenient option for ordering your weekly groceries, clothing, gifts, and more. But it’s important to pay close attention to where you input your credit or debit card information online. Sometimes referred to as eCommerce fraud, online shopping fraud occurs when a website steals your banking information and completes retail purchases without your consent. From there, the purchased items are shipped to an alternate address, and you end up footing the bill. After new chip credit and debit cards were introduced in 2017, eCommerce fraud increased by more than 30 percent.
What is ID Theft Insurance?
Like other personal insurances, identity theft insurance is available to help cover your expenses after a loss. Some of the costs that may be covered under this type of policy include recovering your ID and clearing your name of any debts or liabilities associated with your name and financial information. To learn more about the benefits of investing in comprehensive identity theft insurance, contact your local Skeele Agency Insurance specialist today and be sure to request a free quote.