Wisconsin Not Among States With Most Identity Theft
Where Identity Theft Hits Most
A recent story reported by the website 247wallst.com included the 9 states with the most identity theft complaints. Luckily for us, Wisconsin was not among them (ranked 27th) but this is not a reason to be complacent. The amount of identity theft, per 100,000 residents is still significant. In 2014, there were 4,283 instances of reported identity theft in Wisconsin, with an estimated 5,757,564 citizens. This means that there were still about 74 complaints per every 100,000 residents.
The States With The Most Identity Theft (Complaints per 100,000):
- Arizona – 96
- Nevada – 100.2
- California – 100.5
- Michigan – 104.3
- Georgia – 112.7
- Missouri – 118.7
- Oregon – 124.6
- Washington – 154.8
- Florida – 186.3
What To Do To Protect Yourself
Identity theft is a hassle. It can drain you of money and resources, damage your credit and add an unnecessary level of stress to your everyday life. The good thing is that you can put measures in place to avoid being a victim.
- Shred or Destroy non-essential information
- Documents like receipts, bank statements, old tax returns, or credit card solicitations in the mail all contain important information that is no good to you when past its usefulness. Don’t hang onto these things longer than you need to and destroy them as soon as you possibly can.
- Consider how you use your social security number
- Most people can get along fine without carrying their social security card around with them, so keep it stored in a hidden area or locked safe when you don’t absolutely need it. When online, watch what websites you provide it to. Make sure that when you do give it out, the website you’re using is secured with an SSL certificate.
- Regularly check credit reports
- You are entitled to at least one credit report a year and there are many other free sites that allow you to access your credit information simply for looking at ads. Take advantage of this and check your credit to make sure there aren’t any weird accounts or activity in your name.
- Watch out when clicking on links in emails
- First rule, never click on a link when the email is from someone who you don’t know or trust. After that, when dealing with people you do trust, be skeptical when links are in emails that aren’t specifically referring to a conversation or topic that you are aware of.
- Regularly change passwords
- A very simple way to protect information online is to regularly change your passwords and don’t reuse specific passwords on multiple accounts. You don’t have to do this every month, but do it a couple of times a year, especially if you suspect foul play to any of your accounts.
What To Do If You’ve Been A Victim
If you suspect that you’ve been a victim of identity theft, make sure to report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission website or call their hotline at (877) 438-4338.
Also, make sure to add a fraud alert to your credit reports. You can contact each of the major credit reporting organizations at:
Contact your local police department and fill out a report with what you think or know happened. Have them give you an extra copy in case you need it when contacting your credit companies or financial institutions.
Finally, contact your bank or credit cards to make sure they haven’t been victimized and so that you can set up new passwords, or even new accounts if need be.
What Can We Offer?
We don’t just offer helpful advice, we can also offer a helping hand. Abraham’s Shredding have been offering our on-site document shredding and media destruction services to southeast Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois since 1999.
If you have documents that need to be shred on-site, or to fulfill compliance with state, federal or industry regulations, contact us to start shredding as soon as we can.