Identity Fraud Myths

By • Jan 2nd, 2013 • Category: Identity Theft

People are aware of identity fraud, also known as identity theft, but they seem to have a lot of misconceptions regarding this crime.  The sad fact is that these misconceptions could cause them to become a victim of identity fraud.

Many people think that all you need to do is protect your Social Security number as a precaution against identity fraud which is a really big misconception.  The truth is that an identity thief can get your personal and financial information in many different ways and some of these ways are easier than trying to snag your Social Security number.  They can get your personal and/or financial information by dumpster diving, skimming your credit or debit card at an ATM machine, a store, a restaurant, or a service station, stealing your mail, etc.

Another myth is that if someone steals your personal information and makes fraudulent charges they are your responsibility to pay back.  In truth, the most that anyone would be responsible for repaying would be fifty dollars but that all depends on the state you live in.  If a company tries to force you into paying for any fraudulent charges if you are an identity fraud victim, do not cave in and repay them.  You are not responsible for any fraudulent charges.

Many people have the misconception that they will never be a victim of identity fraud but no one is immune.  This is why you need to make sure that you are taking all the precautions you can so you do not become a victim.  Another myth is that most identity thieves are strangers to their victims.  This is most definitely not true which is why the numbers are so high in regards to how many victims there is each year.  Yes it is true.  Most identity fraud victims know the identity thief.  It could be their friend, their neighbor, a coworker but it usually a family member.

People who are victims of identity fraud think that if they report it the identity thief will be caught and arrested.  Wrong!  According to studies done only one out of seven hundred people who commit identity fraud are ever caught and prosecuted.  Even though not many identity thieves are caught and prosecuted, it is still important that if you find yourself a victim that you report it so you can get on the path of repairing your credit and getting your identity back.

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