How To Avoid Becoming A Victim Of Identity Theft
Published Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at: 7:00 AM EST
How bad is the identity theft crisis? In recent studies by Gartner Research and Harris Interactive, seven million people said they’d been victimized. That’s more than 19,000 a day, almost 800 per hour, and 13 every minute. And according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, the average identity theft victim spends 600 hours, $16,000 in lost wages, and $1,400 in out-of-pocket expenses trying to repair the damage.
Though there are ways to limit the harm if someone steals your personal information, prevention beats any cure. Here’s how to reduce your vulnerability.
Don’t give out personal information. Unless you know the person you’re dealing with, limit the information you provide. If you get a call from a telemarketer or even a government agency, ask for a customer service number and check whether the caller is legitimate. If you are still in doubt, contact your Better Business Bureau. If it’s a company you’ve dealt with before, make sure the caller’s information matches what’s written on past correspondence.
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