Identity theft is a hot topic in the media and is something everyone should be worried about. If your identity is stolen, it could turn your life upside down quickly and can take months to repair the damages. Anyone who uses the internet can be a target, but certain groups of people are more susceptible than others to having their identity stolen.
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People who steal identities love the military because many don’t put active duty alerts on their credit files when they are deployed and checking their credit file is the least of their concerns. It may not even be possible, depending on where they are stationed.
Very few parents think to check their child’s credit file. We tend to think of identities as something only adults have, so children are prime targets. Their information is easily found by anyone who works in a school. Unfortunately, the child’s family is often the ones who use their identity.
People with Special Needs
Anyone who has special needs is a prime target of identity thieves. They usually have clean credit files and their information can be easily found in many ways. Again, their credit file is rarely checked and thieves can often use it for long periods of time before any red flags are raised. Guardians of those with special needs should check the credit ratings of anyone with special needs as often as they check their own.
Many people believe that once a person has passed away, their identity is safe, but the opposite is true. No one thinks to check the deceased person’s credit and thieves know this. After death identity theft is fairly common.
Even though many senior citizens are rarely online, their identities are stolen often by caretakers who can easily find their personal information. The elderly don’t check their credit rating and thieves can cause a lot of damage before anyone notices.
To protect yourself and your loved ones from identity theft, you need to be diligent about keeping your information private. Do not post any personal information on social media sites. Even your birthday could be used to help a thief steal your identity. Make sure your children understand that they should not share anything with strangers.
Check your credit rating and those of your children. If you are the guardian of anyone, check their scores as often as you do your own. Make sure any senior citizens you know can check their credit or help them check it often.
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We all need to be proactive in protecting our identities from thieves. While you may not be held responsible for money they spend, it could take up to a year to get your credit corrected. Shred papers. Don’t post personal information. Be vigilant in checking your credit. Be aware of security breaches and add an alert to your credit file if your information could possibly have been stolen.There are various companies who offer free credit checks, make sure you're taking full advantage of them.
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