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Invasion of the Credit Snatchers

Invasion of the Credit Snatchers infographic

Defending against ID Theft &
protecting your identity against all threats
Credit snatchers slowly & quietly take over…
• 7.5% of Americans are victims of identity theft – roughly 12,157,400 annually
• 50% of incidents stay hidden for a month
• 20% stay hidden for more than 2 years
They target the young, affluent, and the Arizonans…
• 18-24 year olds are almost twice as likely to be targeted that those 65+
• Income earners of $75,000+ are more than twice as likely to be targeted than someone who makes less than $35,000
• Residents in Arizona have the highest theft levels and are more than 4Xs as likely to experience theft than South Dakota residents, which is the state with lowest theft levels
They will drain you dry…
• 14% of ID theft victims experience out-of-pocket losses; half lose $99 or less
• The average financial loss is $5,130
• Total financial loss in 2014: $26,350,000,000
Species No. 1 – The account parasite
Gains access to one of your existing accounts to make charges or transactions on your dime.
• 64.1% of all reported incidents involve existing account misuse
• That’s 7.5 million victims for bank cards & 7.7 million for credit cards
How to defend your identity:
• Make PIN #’s unique
• Use passwords that are difficult to guess (letters, numbers and symbols are best)
• Change PINs and passwords regularly
• Check statements every month, reviewing each transaction
• Don’t bank or shop online using public Wi-Fi / unsecure hotspots
Species No. 2 – The data doppelganger
Steals your personal information to open new accounts they can use in your name.
• Misuse of personal information accounts for 14.2% of ID theft – that’s 1.1 million cases
• 4 out of 5 victims have no idea how the thief stole the information
How to defend your identity:
• Don’t give out Social Security (SS) or Driver’s License (DL) numbers
• Even if a business form requests them, only provide if it’s legally required – always ask
• Don’t send info, including SS/DL, via email – even to legit recipients – it can be intercepted
• Turn off Bluetooth connection on smart phone in public
• Avoid oversharing personal information on social networks
• Check your credit report for free once each year to identify accounts you didn’t open
Species No. 3 – The monster you know
Family member, friend, neighbor, coworker, or maid who chooses targets close to home.
• 32% of victims were targeted by a family member or relative
• 18% were victimized by a friend, neighbor or in-home employee
How to defend your identity:
• Don’t give family access or account info unless they’re a cosigner
• Don’t keep a password list that can be found by someone else
• Don’t give out your card/PIN to send someone to the ATM for you
• Keep financial documents locked up
• Don’t leave your purse or wallet sitting out – keep it locked in your personal space
• Don’t save account passwords to public/networked computers at work
Species No. 4 – The child snatcher
Steals identities from the young because it’s harder to track and catch in the act.
• About 10% of children will become ID theft victims before their 18th birthday
• That’s 1 in 40 households that have to address ID theft before the child turns 18
How to defend your children’s identity:
• Keep birth certificates locked in a safe place – they’re used to create new identities
• If you teach them their SS #, make sure to teach them not to share it at the same time
• Once they get bank accounts, teach them the ABCs of passwords / account protection
• Don’t give a child a credit card until they’re responsible enough to protect their data
• If you’re concerned theft happened, check each credit bureau website for instructions on obtaining a minor’s credit report as their legal guardian.
Reverse snatchers – The credit soul collectors
When your identity is latched onto by a debt collector for an account that’s not yours.
• 25% of all collection complaints are because the “debt is not mine”
• That equals about 500 complaints per month that the CFPB receives on this type of complaint
How to defend your good name:
• Send a letter to the collector to cease and desist communication because the account’s not yours
• Lodge a collection complaint with the CFPB
• Check your credit report yearly for collection accounts that aren’t yours
• Also check the report for aliases in your personal information that you don’t use
• Report repeated unauthorized robocalls – even on mobile phones – to the FCC


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