Identity theft prevention services that are offered through a variety of organizations including the Federal Trade Commission, banks and credit card companies, all state that being knowledgeable about the ways that thieves try to access accounts and steal money is the first and best step to deterring them.
There are many identity theft prevention tips that can be used to stop the theft from occurring at all, and to stop the theft before it gets very far by monitoring all accounts on a regular basis, thus giving authorities a better chance of catching the thief.
What to Do
Whenever personal information is on some sort of paperwork that is no longer needed, individuals should always shred that paperwork so that thieves do not go garbage diving and find their pertinent information. In addition, the identity theft prevention tips state that individuals should not carry around their social security card in their wallets or purses because they are too vulnerable to theft.
Social security numbers are the basis on which individuals get all types of credit, jobs, and other accounts, so obtaining that information is the best way for thieves to steal from a person and wrack up a lot of debt that they hope to never repay.
Identity theft prevention tips also tell individuals not to give out their social security number unless it is absolutely necessary, and never to someone who has contacted the individual over the phone or internet. If they must give out the number, it should only be to people that the individual has initiated contact with, rather than the other way around.
There is also the danger of answering unsolicited emails, especially those with a link in them for the individual to click. Identity theft prevention tips say that sometimes these links will download a virus into the computer which allows the thief to surf the desktop and claim all sorts of personal information that is located there.
There are also some warning signs that identity theft has occurred according to prevention tips. Individuals should always keep track of regular mail and bills that come to make sure that they are all coming when expected. If not, someone may have intercepted them and are planning to use the information they have obtained to break into the account. If the individual starts to have credit denied, or get phone calls about purchases that he did not make, that is another warning sign that his identity has been stolen.