How to stop identity thieves in their tracks

Those who can tell that someone is attempting to steal their identities are the best prepared to stop it from happening from them.

With the internet, smart phones and instant money transfers being a regular part of life these days, identity theft is now a modern crime that threatens people in Georgia every day. Also known as fraud, identity theft most typically occurs when somebody's bank account information is stolen so that funds can be transferred or purchases can be made without the account-holder being aware. However, identity theft can also be used to take somebody's personal identifying information and open up new bank accounts, or even to commit further criminal acts under the guise of someone else. It is essential that people protect themselves from this kind of crime by being aware of how it is committed and what strategies they can use to prevent it.

Signs that an identity has been stolen

Despite the increase in security measures intended to combat those who would feloniously steal people's identities, there end up being new ways for identities to be stolen as well. The following list from the government of the City of Gainesville covers some of the warning signs that indicate people should check on their accounts:

· If someone's monthly credit card or bank statement does not arrive in the mail, he or she should call the bank to see if it was truly sent. If it was sent and is not showing up, this implies that someone has pilfered the information from a mailbox or postal route.

· A standard and easily recognizable attempt at identity theft is receiving a phone call requiring personal information to be shared in order to access some kind of prize like a vacation or money. These calls should be ignored and the numbers blocked.

· An opportune moment for identity thieves to strike is when a new credit card is being sent through the mail. If it is taking a while to receive a new card, calling the bank to find out if someone has tried to switch the home address the card is to be sent to can help foil a plan to steal an identity.

· People should be wary of others looking over their shoulders while they are entering a pin number, password or any other protected information at a store or on their phone in a public place.

The number one way to stop identity theft is to recognize it before it happens, and take care of things as swiftly as possible to minimize further damage. However, in the case that financial transactions or withdrawals occur, people can contact their banking institutions to cancel the false fund movements and have their credit cards reissued.

Those who have been subjected to identity theft will want to ensure they can be reimbursed for any losses, and those accused of identity theft will want a fair chance in the court of law with sound representation. In either event, it may be an invaluable asset for someone to have an attorney versed in criminal law on his or her side.