Fraudsters only need your name, birth date, and address to steal your identity and gain access to your bank accounts, take out loans, or get mobile phone contracts in your name. According to a survey, nearly 30% of persons with social media accounts put their entire name and birthdate on their profile pages. In case you lose your information to a scammer, the only way back is to contact the claimers to help recover your funds.
Fraudsters can determine your age even if you don’t publicly display it on your Facebook profile by looking at the good wishes left for you on your timeline. Once they have your birthdate, they can also figure out where you reside. People must take immediate action to safeguard their finances in the long run. Adults in the UK are using social media at higher rates than ever before, notably on their smartphones, and many of them are willingly disclosing their personal information there.
When fraudsters obtain this kind of information, they can impersonate a person by opening new accounts in their name or by breaking into already-existing accounts to steal money. Damage might amount to hundreds of pounds in debt being accumulated in your name. Consumers should use social intelligence and refrain from revealing personal information or putting their identities in danger on platforms that are so easily vulnerable to abuse. It’s always lovely to get birthday wishes, but is the risk really worth it?
This is the data that most frequently identify you.
Fortunately, a potential thief can’t accomplish much with just knowing your name.
However, there will be an issue if the thief gets hold of another piece of information in addition to your names, such as your Social Security number or the account number of a financial account.
Your physical address is nearly impossible to secure, much like your name. It’s a matter of public record, in fact. Fortunately, even if an identity thief knows your name, there isn’t much they can do with simply your address. Simply put, the knowledge is too broad to be useful.
Your Email Address
It’s nearly hard to keep your email private from loved ones, friends, and business associates, much like your phone number. However, it typically has very little utility for identity theft. The actual danger to your email comes from phishing scams. It occurs when you receive an email that seems plausible and is typically from a well-known source.
But you’re actually signing into a fake account rather than your real one.
Once the phishing source obtains your login information, they can access your actual account.
In some circumstances, the perpetrator of the scheme may even be able to access your computer and take even more data.
Your Social Security Number
We now start to delve into the knowledge that identity thieves find most valuable.
Your Social Security number is the most vital piece of information out of all those categories.
The truth is that because it provides access to so many aspects of your financial life, it is the gold standard for identity thieves. When general information like your name and a Social Security number are combined, the results might be disastrous. If such data is connected to your name, it makes it simple for a thief to steal your identity. A thief can access your accounts and apply for credit in your name with just your name and Social Security number.
- How to safeguard it
The possibility of losing is too high for you to afford to make a mistake here.
Never give out your Social Security card unless it is absolutely necessary, and never carry it with you.
That also applies to writing it on a cheque that isn’t sent to the IRS. Additionally, make sure to store your tax returns securely.
There are fewer leaks today because many establishments display the final four digits of your Social Security number.
A criminal only needs your name and credit card number, much like a Social Security number, to start on a spending binge.
Additionally, a lot of retailers, especially online ones, need the security code and expiration date of your credit card.
However, not all do, which presents a chance for the thief.
The thief can then use your card to make purchases or even get a cash advance.
Usually you won’t be aware of this until after the fact or when you study your account statement.
- How to protect it
Use caution while using your credit or debit card with online or other unreliable merchants.
Review your statements every day to spot discrepancies right away.
Set up account alerts so that you are notified any time there is suspicious activity on your accounts.
Both debit and credit cards offer security against fraudulent use, but you must report any such use right away. When using debit cards, this is especially true. The bank should revoke your card and issue a new one as soon as you report the theft. Contact The Claimers in case you end up losing money to credit card fraud.
Information about checking and savings accounts, investment accounts, and even retirement funds may be included. The account number associated with that specific account is the single most crucial piece of information. A criminal can access your account by using your identity and account number to log in and then transfer money out.
The Potential Damage
The fact that identity theft can harm you in several ways is one of its main issues. Even while they’re certainly terrible enough, using your credit or debit card to access cash, make fraudulent transactions, or empty your bank account is hardly the worst that can happen. When identity theft reaches that stage, you may be required to completely change your identity by obtaining a new Social Security number and opening new accounts for all of your accounts. Getting out of that kind of situation might take years and cost a lot of legal bills. One of those situations when prevention is always better than cure, is identity theft. Consulting the claimers and having your funds returned is the remedy for this ail.