Every person has his or her unique social security number, that is, it is impossible that two persons would own the same number. When a person steals another person’s personal details, including social security numbers, and uses the same to defraud the owner of the social number for personal and monetary gains, then such an act is deemed to be an identity theft. Such identity theft is constantly on the rise in all countries and if you had kept track of the current market news, then you would have seen that many people were left bankrupt or left in huge debts that they were not aware of; simply because someone else stole their identity along with the social security numbers.
If a criminal has stolen your identity, then the least of all problems that you need to worry is losing some money online. The worse that such criminals can do is, use your details to conduct illicit or illegal online transactions with a foreign country. This would actually lead to you being kept in custody and questioned for days at a stretch until they figure out the identity theft that had taken place. Some criminals strike it closer to home when they use other’s social security numbers, take their money and leave them bankrupt!
It is proven that each year, close to five billion dollars are lost due to identity theft. Understanding the intensity of this particular problem, the United States Government has made identity theft a very serious federal crime. Unless you are authorized by law, you cannot, at any given point of time, use social security numbers that are not yours.
When it comes to identity theft, there is more than just one way for criminals to go about it. They could steal your purse or your wallet in which you carry bank cards, driver’s license and your social card. At times, your mail box can actually give the much needed information to such criminals if they had to get their hands on your bank statement or even on your credit card bills. All in all, the criminals just have different methods to get what they want.
If you lose your wallet or your purse and if it contains any or all of the above mentioned cards then you would have to take the responsibility to inform the necessary authorities and the banks at the same time to avoid loss or charges causes by the thief since he or she may use your identity to commit some crimes.
There are times when you could also discard some important documents in the trash without shredding them. Such an act could also lead the criminals to steal social security numbers and steal your identity easily. Thus, as identity theft is such common and could cause you a lot of trouble and loss, you’d better protect your social security number as well as other personal information.