Identity theft is running rampant in many places around the world. In 2014, more than 2.4 million people experienced it, according to TransUnion. In 2017, over 16 million people suffered from some form of identity theft, according to SafeSmart Living.
Most people know that their Social Security numbers are sensitive, and criminals can commit identity theft if they get hold of them. What about the driver’s license, though?
You might be asking, “Can someone steal your identity with your license number?” Here’s some information about that and what you can do to prevent it or resolve it.
What Exactly Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is a devastating occurrence that happens when another person assumes a debtor’s identity for his or her gain. The perpetrator may open credit cards in his or her name.
This person may also purchase a home, car, furniture and the like. In many cases, people who do this do not keep up with the payments. The result ends up being harmful to the original debtor because the credit score lowers and debt collectors sue and harass the person to honor the debts.
How Identity Theft Occurs
Many situations and occurrences can leave a person vulnerable to identity theft. One of the ways it happens is the debtor gives personal information to an untrustworthy party.
This may be a friend or family member. It could be a fraudulent caller who impersonates a governmental entity or business. Debtors sometimes leave themselves vulnerable to identity theft by misplacing their wallets or purses. Additionally, Internet scams can sometimes leave a debtor vulnerable.
Can someone steal your identity with your license? The short answer to that question is, “Yes.” Someone can assume your identity with your driver’s license. They can sign up for various services, rent cars, apply for credit cards and much more.
Your license is just as important as your social security card is when it comes to fraud and identity theft. Therefore, you have to beat thieves to the punch by taking steps to protect your good name now.
How to Prevent Identity Theft
One thing you can do to protect yourself is to sign up for identity theft protection services. The phrase “identity theft protection services” refers to several protective tools that keep you in the know about what’s happening with your information.
The services might include SSN alerts that send you a text message or email whenever someone uses your data to open an account. They may include credit inquiry locks that prevent anyone from using your numbers without a special code or mandatory phone call.
The services may include black market monitoring so that you can see where your information ends up on the Internet. Companies offer comprehensive service packages that can save you millions of dollars as well as your reputation.
Aside from purchasing identity theft protection services, you can shield yourself by keeping your ID safe and secure and never releasing such information over the phone or in an email.
Make sure you always conduct business on secure sites and don’t ever click on random links as they could contain viruses. And check your email address to see if it’s been exposed to a data breach or other digital security concern.