Don’t worry, you didn’t read the title of the post incorrectly; there actually is some good news about identity theft. Last year’s losses were down nearly 12%! Losses still totaled $49.3 billion so it is important to continue to be vigilant about protecting your personal information. The study also showed that the demographic groups most likely to be targeted are young people (under age 24) and those earning more than $150,000. Americans earning less than $15,000 are least likely to be victims but take the longest to uncover fraud when it happens.
The moral of the study is, as well, shred your documents, don’t carry unnecessary cards or information in your wallet, and check your credit report. Every American is entitled to one free report a year, from each of the three credit reporting agencies (that’s three free reports a year for those of you keeping score). The easiest way to access your report is online at this secure site or by phone 877-322-8228.
Beware of other sites claiming to offer free credit reports; they tend to be conditional on a monthly monitoring package for which you will be charged $20 a month¦forever¦(or until you file a complaint with the BBB).