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Identity Theft- Who Commits This Crime? April 15, 2010

Posted by southbendpolice in Crime Prevention, News Releases.
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We all know that scammers try to get your financial information from on-line sources and phony solicitations so they can set up accounts and steal your money, but what you may not know is a huge number of identity thefts are committed to simply apply for jobs using another persons name and personal information. But perhaps the most surprising statistic is that fully 50% of identity theft is committed by friends, family or an acquaintance of the victim!

To say that most of us let our guard down when it comes to dealing with friends and relatives is probably a true statement. It’s human nature- and we wouldn’t be acting human- if we treated a cousin, old high school buddy or grandson like a thief for no reason, and we’re not suggesting you start. But still, your privacy is just that- private. Financial information, your social security number, bank account information, passwords and PIN codes should be treated the same way you would treat a diary. They need to stay that secure. Your bills, statements, wallet, and other paperwork need to be kept isolated in your residence or office. By secure we mean locked in a file drawer or at least in a secure room that is your private space. And last but not least, never leave this sort of information in your vehicle.

No one wants to think that they could be victimized by a person they trust and willingly allow in their home or car, but sadly this statistic is true. Keep the temptation away from everyone that visits and you will never have to deal with this disturbing trend.

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