Identity theft is a serious problem in the United States. In fact, approximately 35 percent of all adults in the United States have been victims of identity theft. In order to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, it’s important to have accurate information about the crime. Unfortunately, however, there’s a lot of misinformation out there on the topic. In order to help clear things up, we’ve compiled some of the most common identity theft myths.
Myth #1: Identity theft just happens to adults
Most people believe that adults are the only victims of identity theft. After all, children don’t file taxes or have credit cards. Unfortunately, however, children are approximately 35 times more likely than adults to become identity theft victims. Criminals often steal children’s Social Security numbers from school or medical records, and information that kids share online can also be used to commit identity theft.
Myth #2: Identity theft mainly happens online
The internet is indeed a common source of identity theft. However, criminals continue to steal people’s identities by other means. In fact, a 2014 FTC report found that nearly half of all fraud complaints involved telephone scams. Therefore, in order to prevent identity theft, it’s important to remain vigilant regardless of whether you are online or offline.
Myth #3: You’ll quickly know if your identity is stolen
It takes approximately 34 days for a person to learn that he or she has become a victim of identity theft. This average is even higher for theft not involving credit cards. This gives criminals plenty of time to do ample financial damage before a person figures out what’s going on. Luckily, by remaining vigilant, consumers can drastically reduce their odds of becoming identity theft victims.
Myth #4: Identity theft only affects your finances
Although identity theft is primarily a financial crime, it can affect far more than your finances. For example, if a criminal who has stolen your identity is pulled over for a traffic violation and fails to appear in court, the authorities will issue an arrest warrant—for you.
Myth #5: There’s nothing you can do to prevent identity theft
You can absolutely prevent identity theft if you remain vigilant. Regarding credit card fraud, you should check your transactions weekly for signs of foul play. If you see anything suspicious, you should immediately contact your card company. You should also check your credit report at least once a year for signs of suspicious activity.
Contact a Consumer Class Action Attorney Today!
If you have had your identity stolen, you need an experienced consumer class action attorney on your side. Identity theft is often the result of the negligence of businesses and other organizations that store or have access to your personal information. When a business or other entity fails to adequately protect your personal information, our consumer class action attorneys will work hard to ensure that you receive financial compensation for your losses. Our talented lawyers have the experience and knowledge to succeed in your consumer class action lawsuit. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.