Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) June 06, 2012
RoadFish.com men’s lifestyle and finance magazine today commented on the number one consumer complaint of 2011, which according to the Federal Trade Commission, was identity theft. The FTC reported that it received over 1.8 million complaints from consumers in 2011, and of those, 15% were regarding some degree of identity theft. RoadFish.com not only can identify with these folks, as it has personal experience with such a grievance, but it encourages consumers to be smart and protect their identity through checking their financial accounts, keeping a close tab on their credit report, and shredding all financial documents.
Lucy Lazarony of Fox Business reported that according to the FTC, identity theft has topped the list of consumer complaints for 12 years in a row now. She reports that of the nearly 270,000 complaints of identity theft in the past year, nearly a quarter of them were tax or wage-related fraud. David Torok, the Director of the Division of Planning and Information at the FTC, is quoted as saying, “It’s a quite frightening type of identity theft.” Torok states that an identity thief must use a victim’s personal information and Social Security number, very private and personal data about a person. In the event that the fraud uses this information to become employed, the victim receives his or her tax obligations, which are normally discovered around tax season. Torok stated, “People discover it as they file their taxes. There’s a real spike this time of year.” He also states that another scary situation is where a thief might file a tax return under another person’s name in order to steal that person’s tax refund.
RoadFish.com can empathize with the large number of people who have fallen victim to identity thieves in one way or another. RoadFish.com’s Senior staff writer is quoted as saying, “It is scary how many people are out there trying to scam on others’ identities. I’ve personally had my credit card numbers stolen twice in the past couple of years, and I honestly have no idea how the thieves got the numbers. Must be some new technology or something. But seriously, it’s crazy how sneakily these things can happen. Both times, I had the credit cards securely in my wallet, at the times that the purchases were made. My banks were really helpful, but it’s still a time-consuming process that I would rather not have to go through ever again.”
According to IdentityGuard.com, penalties for identity thieves range from state to state, and also vary depending on the circumstances of the crime. Punishment can be as minimal as a small fine or a misdemeanor charge, to jail time and extravagant fines. But typically, the course of action for penalizing an identity thief—assuming that the thief is caught—is making him or her responsible for repaying the victim for the monetary loss brought about by the crime. They could be hit with an additional fine on top of the repayment penalty, going as high as $100,000 in fees.
RoadFish.com gives some advice to people who are looking to protect themselves from future identity theft. RoadFish.com’s Senior staff writer is quoted as saying, “Based on all of my research and professional advice, it’s a good idea to destroy your paper chain. That is, shred bills and bank statements, even those pre-approved credit cards you get in the mail, and chuck your receipts at home instead of at a store. You should also keep close tabs on your credit history to see if anyone is messing with it. Check your bank statement weekly, which is really easy now that most banks provide online banking, and check your credit report often. Another good tip is to make your passwords really ambiguous so no one but you can get into your online financial accounts. Oh, and never carry your Social Security card around with you! Keep it in a safe, preferably locked, place at home.”
The other top five categories that the FTC listed as topping the charts of consumer complaints in 2011 included debt collection calls, banks and other lending institutions, auto sales, and advance free loans.
RoadFish.com is an online men's lifestyle and finance magazine targeted toward men in their 30's and 40's that have already attained a moderate level of success in life, and are striving toward more. It goes over current events of interest to this group, such things as exciting adventures, consumer interests, and luxury items as well as ways to make more and save more money. It is a publication owned by Purpose Inc.
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