What Are the Causes and Effects of Identity Theft?

Identity theft is becoming a growing concern all around the world and especially in the United States and other developed countries. Highlighted below are some of the common causes and effects of this increasingly popular crime.

First here are some causes of identity theft:

Wallet Theft

Wallets hold the key to your bank accounts, personal information, credit cards, and of course, your cash. Wallet theft is most likely to lead to an identity theft crime. Whenever you lose your wallet or are afraid that it is stolen you should immediately inform the authorities and cancel all your activated cards and bank accounts. ID thieves act quickly so you should act right away when you find out that your wallet has been stolen.

Internet

Spamming has become a common thing for anyone who uses the internet. Emails of confirmation that talk of winning the lottery to obtain the personal information of the account holder when he replies or responds to the email has become a regular nuisance. So stay on guard and never reply to spam emails, and if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

Post Office Mail

Sometimes ID thieves can simply take your mail from the mailbox and obtain personal information. They may fill out a change of address form at the post office on your behalf. It is something you may never know until it’s too late. So whenever your statement, bill, or report from the bank is late on arrival, contact the appropriate authorities immediately. You should also shred your mail that has sensitive information on it instead of throwing it away. Many identities are stolen out of a trash can or dump site, so don’t be one of the many people who fall victim to these crooks.

So what are the effects of identity theft:

The effects of an identity theft short-term are financial losses and criminal activities in your good name. The long-term and on going effects are emotional stress, ruined credit history, denial of promotion at work and so on.

Short-term Effects

The short-term effects are the initial losses you need to bear once you have become a victim of identity fraud. You may witness an empty bank account balance, canceled credit cards, payment of higher insurance rates in the future, denial of loans, additional banking fees and other monetary losses that may or may not be recovered.

Long-term Effects

The emotional stress and trauma of ID fraud may be one of the most devastating effects of identity theft. Many people have to seek counseling after going through the ordeal, and others can become excessively paranoid about protecting their private data.

Source by Philip Richards

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