How to Protect Yourself From the Growing Problem of Identity Theft - National Business Capital

Loading...

We are processing your information.

Please hold tight for a few seconds!

WE Secured
MORE THAN
$2 BILLION
IN Financing
For BUSINESS
OWNERS national business capital logo

How to Protect Yourself From the Growing Problem of Identity Theft

Listen To This Article

Voiced by Amazon Polly

4 min read. September, 2022 – by Phil Fernandes

The Identity Theft Resource Center reported that identity crimes grew 36% from 2020 to 2021. This data included reports from over 15,000 people and looked at crimes involving government benefits, scams, and social media breaches. Since 2015, the rate of identity crimes has increased by 49%.

This research is similar to data collected by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which received reports of 5.9 million scams in 2021—a 20% increase from 2020. The exact number of crimes committed may vary, but all the data points to a growing problem with identity theft.

It’s often assumed that older Americans are the most common victims of fraud, but data from the FTC shows that isn’t always the case. Over 40% of fraud victims were between the ages of 20 and 29, while 18% were between the ages of 70 and 79.

However, when individuals over the age of 70 did lose money, their losses tended to be much higher. The median loss for individuals between the ages of 70 and 79 was $800. For individuals over 80, the median loss was $1,500.

The pandemic spurred many identity crimes, with consumers losing $886 million in fraud related to COVID-19. With so many people unemployed due to the pandemic, unemployment scams reached an all-time high. 

Criminals would steal personal information from consumers to file for unemployment benefits. Unemployment compensation is taxable, so many consumers didn’t learn about the scam until tax season. 

In addition, social media scams also increased in 2021. These crimes usually involved scammers taking over an individual’s personal account and using that account to post about a fake charity. When that person’s followers donated to the fake charity, the scammers would gain access to their personal information. 

How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

The number of identity crimes continues to rise, but there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Don’t give out personal information: Scammers often trick consumers by calling and posing as bank employees or IRS agents. However, no legitimate organization will ever call you and ask for sensitive information over the phone. Make it a habit never to give out personal information like your bank account number or Social Security Number. 
  • Use multi-factor authentication: One of the best ways to protect your online accounts is by enabling multi-factor authentication. That way, even if a scammer figures out your password, they have to take an additional step to log into your account. 
  • Choose a strong password: Another way to protect yourself is by choosing a strong password with a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. It’s a good idea to change your passwords regularly, and don’t use one password for all your accounts. 

Monitor your credit report: Finally, you want to monitor your credit report regularly. That way, if you notice suspicious activity, you can act quickly and prevent the problem from escalating.

Last Updated on September 14, 2022

National Business Capital helps entrepreneurs secure quick and fair financing to save time and cultivate sustainable growth.

Our stress-free online platform is designed for simplicity and speed, helping business owners go from application to approval in a matter of hours. And while we remain a leader in the Fintech industry, our clients agree it’s our personalized service and award-winning team that sets us apart.

From SBA loans to lines of credit, to equipment financing, and more, business owners can access all the different financing programs available to them in one place. Through our streamlined process, we have helped clients secure $2 billion in financing since 2007, and, more importantly, we’ve helped entrepreneurs save a tremendous amount of time and grow faster.

About the Author, Phil Fernandes

Phil serves as VP of Financing for National Business Capital. He boasts 15 years of sales experience, 10 years of managerial experience, and has been with National for over 6 years. His role at National focuses on managing and directing National’s team of Business Finance Advisors and overseeing project development. Phil is also responsible for Financial Reporting, where he prioritizes results and revenue growth. Phil is passionate about sharing his expertise and insight with small business owners, and regularly contributes articles on National’s blog. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/phil-fernandes-6659a267/


Disclaimer: The information and insights in this article are provided for informational purposes only, and do not constitute financial, legal, tax, business or personal advice from National Business Capital and the author. Do not rely on this information as advice and please consult with your financial advisor, accountant and/or attorney before making any decisions. If you rely solely on this information it is at your own risk. The information is true and accurate to the best of our knowledge, but there may be errors, omissions, or mistakes.