Most people would battle to imagine a world in which there was no credit available. Credit certainly makes our lives easier in that we can enjoy what we need before we have the full amount in cash to pay for it. However, the world of credit is also a playing field for criminals who are always on the lookout for opportunities for identity theft.
Identity theft is a process where one steals the personal, identifying information of another in order to use that information fraudulently. For example, someone might steal your social security number and bank account details and then take out a loan in your name, use your available credit, or steal your money from your account. Therefore, it is very important to protect your identity, or you might find yourself in debt with a very poor credit score.
There are several things you can do to protect your identity, such as keeping all financial statements, checkbooks, social security information out of sight; review your financial statements at least twice a month so that you pick up any fraudulent activity early. Avoid giving out your social security number. Monitor your credit score regularly: if you notice a change in your credit score, this could alert you to identity theft. You should look into free credit score sites and get your free credit score sent to your e-mail. When applying to any site that offers free credit score read the fine print. Many advertise free scores although they end up charging you. What I recommend is to subscribe to a credit bureau who will not only give you your credit score on a regular basis, but will also monitor your credit activity for any signs of fraudulent activity. What better way could there be to ensure that you maintain a good credit score and do not fall victim to crime which could have devastating economic effects on you and your family.