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The Most Common Types of Identity Theft

A finger over a keyboard pressing a key labeled “identity theft.”

There are hundreds of ways that someone can get your personal information and steal your identity. Many do it to gain financial advantage, access credit or other benefits, or even evade the law. With December being Identity Theft Awareness and Prevention Month, individuals must be aware of identity theft and the most common types. At Landmark National Bank, privacy and security are our top priorities, and we want to help you keep your identity and personal information safe at all costs.

Financial Identity Theft

Financial identity theft is the most common type and occurs when an individual uses another person’s info to attain goods, services, or information. For example, a thief could use stolen bank account numbers, debit card numbers, or other personal financial information to completely wipe out your accounts, take out loans or obtain credit cards. You may notice suspicious activity on one of your cards or accounts and realize you weren’t the one making those purchases.

It’s crucial to check your accounts regularly and pay close attention to what charges appear to avoid being a victim of financial identity theft.

Medical Identity Theft

Medical identity theft is when someone steals your information to submit fraudulent claims to medicare or other insurers to try and procure free medical care. Often, people don’t have health insurance or can’t afford it. They will attempt to get prescriptions or receive medical care under your name with your information.

Medical identity theft can negatively affect your medical records, health insurance costs, and in the long run, possibly your credit report. To avoid this type of identity theft, you’ll want to shred any old documents that contain personal information, continue to check your credit, and check your medical records every so often.

Criminal Identity Theft

Criminal Identity theft, although not as common, takes place when an individual pretends to be someone else to avoid arrest, court, or a warrant for their actual identity. It can also mean someone is pretending to be you while committing crimes to avoid getting caught.

Keeping an eye on your Social Security number, driver’s license, and other important documents in a safe place is crucial to avoid criminal identity theft. If someone takes your information and it goes unnoticed, they could commit fraud and crimes under your name without you knowing for years.

Child Identity Theft

Adults aren’t the only target when it comes to stealing someone’s identity. It’s common for someone to obtain a child’s personal information to gain credit, a specific residence, or employment. This type of identity theft is less likely to get discovered and can go on for years. Accounts and loans can get opened under a child’s name without anyone suspecting a thing.

It’s important to keep your child’s documents and information in a safe and secure place and frequently monitor your child’s credit reports.

Avoid Identity Theft With Landmark National Bank

Identity theft is no joke, so make sure to stay aware and always keep your personal information personal.

When you choose to bank with Landmark National Bank, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your privacy and safety are our top priority. Read up on all of our fraud prevention and security measures and open a personal savings account with us today!

What To Do if Your Identity Is Stolen

Worried-looking woman looking at a laptop in the dark holding a credit card

The month of December is Identity Theft Awareness and Prevention Month, and with it being near the holiday season full of online shopping and credit card swipes, this is a topic everyone should take seriously. Not everyone understands how easy it is for your identity to be stolen, and many are unsure what to do if it happens to them. With the help of Landmark National Bank, you’ll learn how to avoid identity theft and what to do if your identity is stolen.

How Does Identity Theft Occur?

There are so many ways for your identity to be stolen, and while many think they’re taking extra precautions, that may not always be enough. Identity theft usually begins when your personal data is exposed through hacking or data breaching. Criminals make use of your personal information illegally for their benefit under your name.

Identity theft can occur in many ways, some of which include:

  • Mail theft
  • Credit card/debit card theft
  • Stolen personal information
  • Spam calls

How To Avoid Identity Theft

According to the FTC, Americans filed nearly 1.4 million identity theft reports in 2021. Avoiding identity theft isn’t always easy, because there are many different ways an imposter can get your information. Your personal information can be accessed in a variety of ways, often without your knowledge. You can’t guarantee that you won’t encounter some sort of identity theft or fraud throughout your life, but there are ways to help avoid and prevent it. Some of the ways to avoid identity theft include:

  • Destroy private records and statements
  • Secure and check your mail often
  • Consistently review your credit reports
  • Consistently check your bank accounts/statements
  • Safeguard your Social Security number
  • Be cautious when using ATMs

What To Do if Your Identity Is Stolen

Even when you’ve brought ways to avoid identity theft into your daily routines, it can’t always be avoided. Once your identity is stolen, it’s important to act quickly and take the steps to get ahead of the situation before it gets out of hand.

If you suspect that your identity has been stolen, the first step is to call one of the three credit reporting agencies and place a fraud alert or freeze your file. Now that your files are frozen, you should close or cancel any other accounts associated with your name. Additionally, you should order new cards and account numbers and let all parties know about your situation. You should then report this crime to the local police and obtain a copy of the report so that credit companies and other financial institutions can get a copy.

Finally, you should file a theft complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It’s important to take identity theft and fraud seriously because if it isn’t caught early on, it can cost you in the long run or even recur in the future.

Protect Your Identity With Landmark National Bank

At Landmark National Bank, privacy and security are our top priorities when you open accounts with us. Our fraud prevention and security systems help protect you with a combination of firewall barriers, encryption techniques, and authentication procedures to maintain the security of your online session and protect your accounts.

When you open an account at Landmark National Bank, you don’t have to worry about your bank account or personal information being leaked—we’ll have it locked up tight. Make sure to take all the precautionary measures necessary to protect your identity and open an account with Landmark National Bank today!