We live in an increasingly technologically driven society. And although technological advances make our lives easier in many respects, they also place us at risk. Unfortunately, as technology has improved, so have the abilities of thieves to steal people’s identities. Luckily, by staying vigilant, taking precautionary steps, and remaining aware of common identity theft scams, the odds of becoming an identity theft victim drastically decrease. In this article, we examine the top 3 identity theft scams.
Government Document and Benefits Fraud
Identity theft involving government benefits has skyrocketed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Important government information that criminals target with this type of identity theft includes victims’ Social Security numbers, driver licenses, and passport data. With a stolen Social Security number, an identity thief can open credit card and bank accounts, apply for loans, file fraudulent tax returns, claim unemployment benefits, and apply for Social Security benefits.
If you suspect that someone has stolen your driver’s license, Social Security card, or passport, or if you have lost any of these documents, you should notify the appropriate government agency immediately.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud is on the rise. In fact, the number of credit card fraud reports in 2020 rose over 40% from 2019. With credit card fraud, and identity thief purchases something using a victim’s existing credit or debit account. In addition, once a criminal has a person’s personal information, he or she may use this information to open a new credit account. In order to detect credit card fraud, you should check your credit card account statements frequently and immediately dispute any unusual charges. In addition, you should review your three credit reports at least once a year.
Loan or Lease Fraud
With a loan or lease fraud, an identity thief uses a victim’s personal information to take out a payday loan or apply for a car loan, mortgage, or vehicle lease. Criminals can apply for payday loans using a person’s Social Security number or banking information. When the identity thief fails to repay the loan on time, the loan company will expect the fraud victim to pay the amount owed. Often, victims of this type of fraud don’t realize there is a problem until they receive a collection letter. In order to monitor whether any fraudulent loans have been taken out in your name, you should regularly review your credit report.
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. Identify theft often occurs when institutions negligently fail to protect consumers’ personal information. If an institution has provided a party with unauthorized access to your personal information, our attorneys will work hard to ensure you are fully compensated for your financial losses. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.