What’s the Truth Behind Identity Theft Myths in California (CA)?

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Identity theft is all over the news and most likely you know someone who has been a victim, or have even been a victim yourself. Even so, a great deal of misinformation continues to float around. For the truth behind those identity theft myths in CA, please continue reading, then contact an experienced Los Angeles, California identity theft lawyer today.

What is the truth behind the most common identity theft myths in California (CA)?

Do you really understand the basics of what identity theft is and how it could impact you? If, like most people, you do not, here are some common myths and the truth behind them:

  • Identity theft is the same thing as credit card fraud: Although stealing credit card information is a serious problem, identity theft is the stealing of any personally identifiable information for financial gain, including tax returns and medical records.
  • Identity theft only happens to adults: Children are actually thirty-five times more likely than adults to be victims of identity theft, because the fact that young children do not have credit gives criminals a longer time period between using the stolen information and the discovery of the crime.
  • Identity theft primarily happens online: Cybercrime continues to be a growing problem, but a recent FTC report found that forty percent of fraud complaints stated they were initially contacted by telephone.
  • I am too smart to fall for an email scam: Some criminals have become quite adept at creating emails that look like they are from Amazon, PayPal or even banks, claiming you need to confirm your identity because of an unauthorized transaction.
  • You will know right away if your identity is stolen: The average number of days it takes to detect fraud, in general, is 34 days, but it can be higher (57 days) for non-card fraud, giving criminals ample time to exploit this information.
  • Personal information like my birthdate is useless to criminals: A lot of information that you share freely, such as your date of birth, phone number, ZIP code and email address, is very valuable to criminals who can take that information and post it on underground sites where they buy, sell and trade bunches of personal information.
  • Your finances are the only thing affected by identity theft: Criminals can use your identity to evade traffic tickets and arrest warrants, buy drugs or file false claims with insurance companies, all at your expense.
  • There is nothing you can do to protect yourself against identity theft: You can be vigilant about checking your credit card transactions weekly, getting your annual free credit report, being aware of the personal information you are sharing and giving only the information you are required to share about yourself.

If you have any further questions about identity theft or would like to begin pursuing compensation, please reach out to a skilled California consumer lawyer as soon as possible.

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