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PRNewswire: Keep Grinch at Bay During Holidays With 12 ID Theft Tips of Christmas

NORWALK, Conn., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- With the holiday shopping season in full swing, and with the growing threat of ID theft looming, consumers may not know their identities could also be for sale.

The intersection of commerce and cyber-crime could be a bumpy road for shoppers over the next month, so don't let the ID theft grinches steal your holiday cheer this year.

"Wherever there's information about a person, whether it's retained by a retailer, bank, credit bureau or database, there's someone out there who has the ability to steal it," said Dan Clements, spokesman for ID Secure, a sophisticated new tool that uses leading-edge public records, Social Security number and credit card monitoring technology to fight identity theft. "The more difficult you make it for someone to rip you off, the less chance you have of becoming a victim of identity theft. These criminals are not looking for a challenge; they're looking for an opportunity."

ID Secure, a leading-edge public records, Social Security number, credit card and cyber-crime chat room monitoring service, is distributing a useful tip a day from Dec. 7-24 using the "12 Days of Christmas" theme to help protect consumers against the fastest growing crime in America.

With the holiday shopping season in high gear - retail sales are expected to hit $474.5 billion this year, according to the National Retail Federation, and online shopping soared 37 percent on Cyber-Monday this year - it is now more important than ever, to take steps to protect your identity.

Before you load up your sleigh with holiday gifts, remember these tips from the experts at ID Secure:

On the second day of Christmas my expert reminded me:

  1. Shop smart ... When shopping, limit the credit cards you carry and don't take extras. Leave your Social Security card, birth certificate and passport at home.
  2. Keep receipts ... For post-holiday statements, be sure to examine every charge on your statement before paying. Your receipts provide a great cross-reference check and guard against suspicious activity.

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America, with 27.3 million victims in the past five years, and nearly 20 million in the past two years alone, according to a study from Javelin Strategy & Research. This crime costs more than $56 billion, or $6,383 per victim, annually, and has become so prevalent, that an identity thief strikes on average every 3.5 seconds. In fact, ID theft has now surpassed drug trafficking as the No. 1 crime in America, according to the Justice Department.

Clements says that while identity theft is growing, there are ways to protect yourself. His advice: Make sure you have a product, such as ID Secure, that monitors billions of public records and cyber-crime chat rooms for your identity.

"These new technologies, such as ID Secure, keep consumers one step ahead of would-be ID thieves. They are perhaps the best chance of avoiding identity- related criminal abuse," said Clements. "Punishment for fraud and recovery of stolen funds is so rare that prevention is the only viable course of action."

ID Secure's pioneering technology monitors the Internet for fraudulent activity involving consumers' personal information such as credit card account, debit card account. PIN numbers, social security numbers, mother's maiden name and many other types of personal information. ID Secure collects compromised personal information from foreign "underground" chat rooms where full sets of personal information are bought and sold by identity thieves for $10 to $30. This technology alerts members instantly if their personal information has become compromised, and assists them with keeping their identity safe.

Source: PRNewswire

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