Identity theft can cost you thousands of dollars and countless hours to fix. How can you avoid it?

Identity theft can cost you thousands of dollars and countless hours to fix. When people think of identity theft, more often than not they assume it’s from a data breach or a compromised social security number. The truth of the matter is, identity theft isn’t exclusive to one reason. There are several common ways thieves can get at your information. Here’s Legal Shred’s identity theft survival guide to help you understand how it happens and how to avoid it.

Identity Theft Doesn’t Just Happen Online

While many associate identity theft with online purchases or scams, identity theft can happen with a driver’s license, medical records, passports, and social security cards. If someone has your bank account information, they can financially steal your identity, too. Here are the ways thieves can steal your identity.

Identity Theft Is Expensive

The average cost of identity theft and resulting fraud in cases solved by the US Secret Service over a six-year period was more than $31,000, according to a study.

Research by the Center for Identity Management and Information Protection (CIMIP) looked at 734 cases with an identity theft component that were opened and closed by the US Secret Service between 2000 and 2006.

It Can Happen to Kids, Too

Most parents don’t think to check their children’s credit histories, allowing the crime to go undetected for years. Many cases of child identity theft aren’t discovered until the child applies for a loan or their first job. Learn more about The Keeping I.D. Safe (KIDS) Act so that parents and guardians can create and freeze credit records for their children.

Don’t Forget Social Media

The increased use of social media means more opportunities to steal identities or perpetrate fraud online, and there are a number of ways criminals can use this platform to wreak havoc on users. Engaging on social channels doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. You can still share aspects of your life with your friends if you take the proper precautions and use security tools and features. Here’s how.

Avoid Scams

It seems scams are a dime a dozen, whether they happen online, via the phone, text messages, and even through postal mail. Wrongdoers will stop at nothing to con you out of your money using a variety of ways, but there are many ways to protect yourself. Here’s a helpful list of the proper precautions to take.

Legal Shred can help you protect your identity through our routine document destruction services. As the identity protection company, it is our mission to keep our customers secure and safe. We can destroy any document, whether it’s old passports, licenses, financial documents, medical records, and any other document that contains sensitive information, ensuring that it can never be read or used again. Let’s get started today.

Identity Theft Survival

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