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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection | article

How Identity Theft Companies Can Help Protect Your Personal Information

Hands at a Computer Keyboard, BlurredIdentity theft is a serious crime that involves using somebody else's identity to commit various offenses. Identity theft is threatening because it can end up framing innocent people for crimes they haven't committed. The identity thieves may also begin using their victims' identities to obtain credit or mismanage the latter's assets and other resources.

Listed below are some examples of identity theft and how reputable identity theft companies, like Intersections Inc., use different tools to help identify and address those issues.

Financial identity theft
Financial identity theft is one of the common forms of identity theft. The easiest way for thieves to do this is to closely monitor others, and keep track of the numbers they punch in or fill out when disclosing their credit card or bank account numbers. Identity thieves can also check dumpsters for people's receipts and financial statements as such documents might contain financial information.

Hacking
Identity thieves will try to break into secured computer networks and databases that contain their victims' personal information. Another method is to skim a victim's social networking website, using the information to make educated guesses when trying to obtain their passwords. Such security breaches can grant identity thieves access to email accounts, social media accounts, and bank accounts. Identity thieves may use this information to commit credit card fraud, government document fraud, and other kinds of crimes.

Consequences
As identity theft or ID theft can happen to almost anyone, including children, it is indeed a growing problem. Thieves may open new credit accounts in their victims' names and then fail to make payments. As the delinquent account will appear on subsequent credit reports, victim's credit scores may go down impeding one's ability to obtain credit in the future. Thieves may create counterfeit checks using their victims' names and account numbers. Some are even known to take mortgages or loans in their victims' names.

Solution
Credit monitoring and other methods that help detect identify theft can help protect you from unscrupulous identity thieves. Using services like Identity Guard®, you can access, review and start monitoring your credit and publicly available information. If certain activity is detected – like credit inquiries or new credit accounts — an alert will be sent to you by Identity Guard.

Credit education specialists at Identity Guard can help you review the alerts and other information you receive and guide you through them. Recovery and resolution measures that Identity Guard will help you take include informing lenders, canceling existing credit cards, and notifying bureaus and local authorities of the identity theft.

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