Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America today. It happens more often than you think. In fact, you most likely know someone or are someone who has been affected by a telephone scam, credit card theft, or even identity theft. Now, with technology on the constant rise, the risk of theft becomes even more likely. It could happen to you.
Millions of people have been affected by such scams, and the number of reports are only increasing. In 2017, Javelin Strategy & Research reported that an estimated 16.7 million people were impacted by identity theft. (https://www.lifelock.com/education/how-common-is-identity-theft/).
It may seem that there is nothing that you can do to prevent this type of theft from happening to you. One thing you can do when you find yourself in a possible scam scenario is to reach out for help. Do not be afraid to ask questions. There are numerous resources that exist to guide you towards finding an answer.
Scam artists might email you, call you on the telephone, write you a letter, or simply research your name online (e.g. social media, google) to get information they need. If a scam artists calls you on the telephone, they will most likely use your emotions against you. A scam artist may reference that a loved one is in need of help. If this happens, don't forget to fact check the situation. Although it may be difficult if they are saying that your loved one is lost in a foreign country or has been put in jail and they need money fast, take a step back and ask yourself, "Does this really make sense?". When was the last time that you spoke with this loved one? Would it make sense for him or her to be in the situation as alleged?
In order to avoid possible data breeches that help scam artists get your information, take precautionary measures in your privacy settings on social media and other networking sites. Be proactive in throughly checking your credit history, mail, and online data to avoid the simple ways that scam artists can get information. For a small fee, our office can help you with the steps necessary to freeze your credit report.
Remember, should you find yourself part of a scam – It is OK to seek help. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask questions. It can happen at any time. Identity theft can cost you thousands of dollars and countless hours to fix. There are answers waiting for you, as long as you aren't afraid to look for them. Protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft.
For more information, please visit the Indiana Attorney General's Office website. http://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/.
If you find yourself in a situation where you feel as if you may be part of a scam, take a step back and assess the facts of the situation. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule a free one hour consultation.