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Identity theft has become one of the fastest growing crimes in America. Anyone can be affected, but business owners are frequently targeted. In fact, small business owners are one and a half times more likely to be the victims of identity fraud than the general population.
Credit identity theft is the unauthorized use of your identifying information to open new financial accounts or use of your existing accounts to steal your money or charge items leaving you with the bills. Even though there are laws prohibiting this type of activity, you should take care to avoid becoming a victim.
Identity thieves are most interested in the personal information that would enable them pass as you. This includes Social Security numbers, date of birth, mother's maiden name and your existing account numbers at your financial institutions.
Identity thieves will try to get this information in many ways:
To keep your information private, here are some of the steps to consider:
While there are no guarantees that these steps will prevent credit identity thieves from attacking you, the harder you make it for them to steal your identity, the less likely you are to become an identity theft victim. Be sure to protect your business from identity theft as well.