Our Chicago consumer fraud and identity theft attorneys recognize that the holidays can be a busy, hectic time.
Scammers looking to steal your identity and run up your credit are counting on you to be so distracted as you go about shopping for gifts and enjoying winter festivities, that you fail to notice that your personal information has been exposed and exploited.
Here are three ways that identify theft can happen during the holidays, and what you can do to prevent it.
- Mail order identity theft. Remove your mail from your mailbox as quickly as possible, and take any outgoing mail directly to the mailbox or post office. If you plan to travel for the holidays, place a vacation hold on your mail and subscriptions.
- Identity theft at home. Experts report that between 30 and 50 percent of identity theft is perpetuated by someone whom the victim personally knows. No one wants to believe that a friend or family member would perpetrate such a crime. But the truth is that your home is rife with identity theft opportunities for people who know where to find your personal information. To keep that from happening, keep banking and finance statements locked away and your wallet out of plain site. Or better yet, shred all old financial records.
- Identity theft in public. Carry only what you need when you go shopping or to holiday functions. Leave personal documents such as social security cards or passports at home. If you must carry insurance information, make photocopies, then keep the photocopies on you but black out your ID numbers.
If you believe you’ve been the victim of credit or financial identity theft, a skilled consumer fraud lawyer can help. Please contact Markoff Leinberger online or call our law offices at 1 (888) 517-9115. Our Chicago consumer fraud attorneys accept cases from throughout the Midwest and nationwide.