Identity theft can be one of the most devastating things to happen to anyone. It is even creating an identity protection industry with companies that specialize in protecting your identity and credit.

One of the most important steps in preventing identity theft and to prevent becoming a victim is awareness. You must remain vigilant and be aware of the current identity theft scams and methods out there so you know what to look for. One of the most publicized and common ways thieves steal information is through phishing. No, phishing does not mean enjoying the musical group Phish, it refers to an email cell phone text, or some other means of electronic communication that tries to trick you into giving personal information. One of the most infamous phishing email scams was one that claimed that the person writing the email is handling an inheritance left for you by your rich uncle, and they just need to confirm some information from you. The information they need to confirm is your social security number, address, phone number, and drivers license number.

This seems convincing to people because they already have some of your information, but are just missing some of it. This is a scam, and as soon as you correct them with your right information they can start stealing from you almost immediately. Some have seen transactions occurring in as little as 20 minutes after the scam takes place.

Another way identity theft takes place is not heard about as much but is even more common. Dumpster diving is one of the leading ways identity theft takes place and many people overlook it. Sometimes mail does get stolen which is hard to avoid, but getting your personal information stolen from the trash can be easily prevented. It can be as simple as purchasing a paper shredder and making sure to shred all confidential information that you are throwing away. Many people without a shredder tear the paper with their hands and think they are save, although many times thieves dealing with your trash can easily piece your confidential papers back together with larger pieces. This problem is easily prevented, just pick up a shredder at your local office supply store.

Always be vigilant in protecting your identity. Take the necessary steps to avoid identity theft and learn to recognize scams early. Visit my website for more information to protect your identity.

Source by Michael Gentleman