How To Prevent Identity Theft In Tampa: Protecting Your Assets This Holiday Season
The holidays are a favorite time of year, but the costs associated with planning feasts and purchasing gifts for family and friends can quickly add up. Unfortunately, if you are not careful, it can end up costing significantly more than planned. Identity theft is common at this time of year and can result in major losses. Our Tampa asset protection attorney explains more about the risks and how to prevent identity theft from happening.
Preventing Identity Theft And Fraud Over The Holiday Season
Scammers are always on the prowl and there are numerous ways for them to obtain sensitive information about you. They then use this information to steal your identity, fraudulently gain access to financial accounts, and deplete your assets.
Unfortunately, identity theft and fraud are common problems during the holiday season. The consumer credit reporting agency Experian advises taking a few simple steps to protect yourself and your assets:
- Be wary of online shopping scams: Whether shopping on Facebook Marketplace, looking for deep discounts on retail websites, or making purchases in stores, be fiercely protective of your personal information.
- Keep passwords secure: Financial experts warn that using obvious passwords or the same one across accounts makes it easier for scammers to steal your identity and gain access to bank accounts and credit cards.
- Watch for skimming devices: Skimming devices can easily be attached to ATMs and credit card machines, making it one of the most common types of scams.
- Verify requests for donations: The spirit of giving that surrounds the holiday season is heartwarming, but scammers have a knack for finding ways to take advantage of your generosity.
Preventing Identity Theft If You Have A Loved One Who Recently Passed
If you have recently lost a loved one, be aware that scammers prey on these types of situations. They routinely scan obituaries, looking for people who recently passed, then fraudulently gain access to their financial accounts and any benefits they previously received.
Identity theft scams involving those recently departed often involve setting up fake credit accounts, taking out bank loans, and diverting tax refunds, Social Security or other benefit payments. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers tips to prevent it:
- Do not put too many personal details in obituaries, such as your loved one’s address, their exact date of birth, and their mother’s maiden name.
- Send copies of your loved one’s death certificates to banks and credit reporting agencies.
- Request a deceased alert be placed on credit reports.
- Continue to monitor accounts while your loved one’s estate passes through probate, making sure there is no unauthorized activity.
Request A Consultation With Our Tampa Asset Protection Attorney
The holiday season is one of the most common times of year for identity theft and other types of scams. To protect yourself and your assets, contact Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C. We guide you in the steps needed to prevent theft and fraud. Request a consultation with our Tampa asset protection attorney today.