The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) released the Data Breach Report for 2017. It showed a 44% increase in cases of data breach from the previous year, which amounted to 1579 cases of fraud.

Identity theft is the consequence of a data breach which enables an unauthorized user to impersonate someone else. It can mean making illegal purchases to using a credit card in your name.

According to Javelin, victims who experienced an identity fraud after a data breach were 31.7% compared to an insignificant 2.8% of individuals who were left safe. This crime has reached such alarming rates that consumer complaints for identity thefts went up to 13.87% in 2017 according to Consumer Sentinel Network Report.

It’s a terrifying prospect to be a part of those statistics. This is why it’s extremely important to be fully aware of how it happens in order to prevent it.

Seeing all the numbers on crime reports and identity theft cases can be jarring. Some people are still unsure how it all happens and thus aren’t able to take precautionary measures.

The way it works is simple: some creativity and a criminal mind is all you need to forge documents and access unauthorized identities. Criminals can gain access to your personal documents through a number of ways.

Dump Sites

One common method is to scavenge through trash. As unbelievable as it may seem, our dump sites can contain just what a criminal needs. Financial statements and old bills are enough to reveal your account number, address, bank name and other information. This can grant access to anyone who wants to assume your identity completely or just open an account with your name.

Phishing

This is another way offenders can obtain your personal information from you without even sounding shady. Ever received one of those phony telephone calls that ask for your social security number, name and other credentials? That’s one way you hand over precious information to cyber criminals without suspecting anything.

E-mails are another way of getting information out of you without raising red flags. Individuals often respond to such e-mails, not knowing the fraudulent motives behind them.

Mail Box

If you’re not interested in a pre-approved credit card offer lying in your mail box, it’s better to discard it the right way. Thieves can gain access to your old mail lying in the mail box and open an account in your name. They can make endless transactions on your credit card which you’d be liable to pay for! SO it’s important to check your mail at your earliest.

Theft

Not all criminals need to possess cyber expertise to get their way around identity theft. Some can use the oldest trick in the book and steal your documents at gunpoint. However they might not even need to coerce you if your leave your wallet, purse or other baggage lying around in public places. It’s better to be alert in crowded places and beware of pickpockets.

However identity theft is not always the reason why you might not be able to achieve your credit goals.

Need help from credit experts to better manage your credit growth?

Masters Credit Consultants has many credit repair specialists on board who help individuals keep track of their credit reports. We offer FREE consultations and recommendations on how to start a business, fund one or build business credit. Contact us here.