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Identity theft commercials are really happening

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You may have laughed off at the absurdity that is shown in identity theft commercials. But they should be not something to laugh about.

Some commercials may have even touched or scared you. But the most effective identity commercials are those that make people wary whenever they go out or use their credit cards.

What you see on television is actually a example of what might happen in reality. No matter how funny or violent these identity theft commercials maybe, they are nothing compared to what can happen in real life.

You can actually benefit and learn from watching commercials about identity theft. Try to listen to the accounts of identity theft victims talking about all the things the thief was able to purchase and what they have accomplished using your identity.

Identity theft is not just what you see in your tube. They are real and actual problems that still have no solutions. On the contrary, it is getting worse and worse as time goes by.

The more conservative methods used by identity thieves consist of stealing records or information while on the job and stealing your mail, such as bank and credit card statements, credit card offers, new checks and tax information.

Mail can be stolen while it is to and from your mailbox. A thief can fill out a “change of address’ form and have your mail brought to a different address. They can also gain access to your information by going through your trash or the trash of businesses or public trash dumps.

To get a credit report, identity thieves may pretend to be a landlord, an employer or someone else who may have legal right to admission to your personal information.

Even if you think your own personal information is well protected, you may not be aware of some of the high-tech, and highly clever methods that thieves today are using to get your personal data.

Some of the most popular commercials show some skimming and phishing strategies that identity thieves are doing.

In skimming, identity thieves obtain credit or debit card numbers by putting the information in a data storage device they have put to an ATM or automated teller machine.

On the same note, shoulder surfing is when an identity thief uses a camera phone or positions near a person who is using the ATM or is typing in his or her credit card number into a phone.

The most recent trend in this crime involves fraudulent emails. This is quickly becoming one of the frequent cases.

According to results of a survey done by a financial transaction company, around 43 percent of users have received phishing contracts in their emails. In this strategy, identity thieves pose as banks, credit card companies or other institutions to get you to give out information such as passwords or account numbers.

In the more sophisticated strategy also known as pharming, users that are trying to get into a certain site is mislead to fake sites that have the same address.

Now that you already know some of the identity theft cases, you maybe wondering if you can use the measures you have seen on identity theft commercials. Although some of them may be reality-based and can actually work, it is important that you also know some of important things not seen in those commercials.

Consumers can avoid being an identity theft victim by using only ATMs that they are familiar with, checking out the machine to be certain that nothing looks out of the ordinary and covering up the pin number you are using.

You should continue maintaining your monthly checks and statements for at least one year in case you need to disagree over a particular check transaction made.

Finally, when you throw out papers that have personal information, such as ATM , bank checks, etc. try to shred them first before dumping. It is also a good idea to keep a file of all credit cards, account numbers, expiration dates and credit card customer service phone numbers in a safe place in case your cards are stolen or lost.

You can never be too careful these days. Anyone can be a victim of identity theft, commercial or no commercial.

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