Silhouetted dark cloaked individuals are the stereotypical notion of most people when the word “phantom” comes up. But phantoms who steal your identity for their own benefit can look like any individual you pass on the streets. No, this is not a horror movie nor a nightmare that vanishes but reality that exists to this very day.
Over 11 million Americans fall victim to identity fraud each year. “Phantoms” who steal somebody’s identity can lead to massive debt on the part of the victim. Even worse, they commit crimes under the victim’s name.
Everyone should be armed with the knowledge of how to prevent identity theft. Social Security Numbers, credit card numbers, and bank account numbers should be well protected. Never carry those around or give those out unless absolutely necessary. Documents that have your personal information should be destroyed if no longer used. Modern day cross cut shredders are effective at destroying them. Your mail is the most vulnerable element in identity fraud. Guarding your mail is possible by using a locking mailbox.
Phising is a scam wherein companies that appear genuine send bogus emails in the hopes of acquiring your personal information. These scams are becoming more prevalent all the time. The internet can be very dangerous. When ordering stuff from the internet, make sure that the site is secure before you give out your credit card number. Never dispense your personal information through the phone where it is easy for others to pretend to be somebody they’re not. Also, limit access to your computer. Passwords should be used in order to protect your files from being viewed by others. When withdrawing money from an ATM machine, be wary of people who are “shoulder surfing.” They might easily get your PIN number.
There’s no harm in being extra careful these days. With the economy in the doldrums, more and more people resort to identity theft. That is why identity criminals, dangerous phantoms are lurking in the shadows, carefully choosing and planning for their next victim. So be careful, you wouldn’t want to end up with enormous debt, right? You especially don’t want to go to jail for a crime you didn’t commit!