Identity theft is a serious crime that occurs to tons of people each year. Those who have been through this gut-wrenching experience can tell you that it’s something you never want to live through if you can help it. It robs you of a positive existence and often costs tons of money in losses.
To try to decrease your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft, it’s important to be careful where you submit your personal information, who you let see it, and even how you dispose of it. But another way to help decrease your chances is to frequently check your credit reports.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is a crime where someone obtains and uses another person’s personal information in order to commit fraud or deception, usually for economic gain. They may want to use your credit card information to make personal purchases, or even steal your name and social security number to open new accounts. The effects of someone being the victim of identity theft can be disastrous, no less. It’s for this reason that it’s important to stay on top of all of your accounts, and even check your credit reports.
Why is Checking Your Credit Important?
Anytime you check your credit reports from the three credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax), you are not just seeing what information is on the report that you’re responsible for; you’re also seeing if someone else is messing with your account or if there are existing accounts that you never opened. If you look at your reports and notice that there are some accounts that you haven’t opened in your name, or there looks to be some other suspicious activity going on, you can red flag it immediately and begin the steps toward protecting your identity.
It’s impossible to completely eliminate your chances of becoming an identity theft victim, but you can definitely make life easier by checking your credit. There are sites you can visit for free credit reports from the three bureaus such as Go Identity Protect and Go Free Credit. Your best bet of preventing theft from happening to you, is to get started today.