by Catherine Rein
(last updated April 24, 2009)
A year ago my mother was a victim of identity theft. Some thieves stole her social security number from some mail that she had inadvertently thrown out. They used the information to open credit accounts in her name and charge several thousand dollars in merchandise before they were caught. It took over a year for her to clear her record and have her credit restored.
There are as many as 9 million Americans affected each year by identity theft. If you are one of them there are some things you should know in order to get your life back:
Thieves may get your information through physical means, such as searching your trash, stealing a wallet or by filling out a change of address card for your billing statements. They might also get your identity information via the computer by skimming the numbers using a special storage device when you use your card, or by phishing, a process where thieves pretend to be a real institution and trick you into giving them your personal information.
Identity theft is an ever-growing problem, fueled by the constant integration of information and technology. Despite its ...Discover More
Identity theft is on the rise. It is important to safeguard your personal information.Discover More