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Introduction to 50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age: New Financial Threats You Need to Know and How to Avoid Them, 2nd Edition

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Steve Weisman introduces his book, which shows you just how vulnerable you are to identity theft, but also shows you steps you can take to protect yourself, as best you can, from becoming a victim.
This chapter is from the book

Introduction

Identity theft is one of the most pervasive and insidious crimes of today, a crime that can tremendously disrupt your life—or even put you in jail for crimes you never committed.

This book explains the horrific details of the many identity theft scams that are so prevalent today. Story after story takes you into the dark world of identity theft and the dire consequences that can result from this crime that affects more and more people throughout the world. This book shows you just how vulnerable you are, but it also shows you steps you can take to protect yourself, as best you can, from becoming a victim. It also tells you what to do if you become an identity theft victim.

Identity theft is the biggest and fastest-growing crime in the world, and with good reason. It is easy to perpetrate and easy to get away with.

No one is immune from identity theft—children, the elderly, and even the dead can have their identities stolen.

Through modern technology, an identity thief halfway round the world can steal your identity from your computer, your laptop, your iPad, or your smartphone.

I can teach you how to recognize the risks of identity theft and how to avoid them.

What you don’t know can hurt you. I will tell you how to spot dangers in places you might never have considered, such as your television, your cellphone, or even a copy machine.

In this age of information sharing, everyone is particularly vulnerable to identity theft because even if you are doing everything right, the many companies and institutions with which you do business and operate in your everyday life might not be protecting you as much as they can. I can show you how to minimize those risks.

This book might scare the hell out of you, and rightfully so. It explains just how vulnerable we all are in the world of identity theft. But it also tells you specifically what you can do to reduce your chances of becoming a victim and precisely what to do if you do become a victim of identity theft.

Many years ago, I worked as a professor in a college program in the state prison system in Massachusetts. One of my students was serving two consecutive life sentences, which meant that after he died, he would start his second sentence. When he told me about this, I told him how I always wondered how that worked. He said that he had too, and when he was sentenced, he yelled at the judge, “How do you expect me to do two consecutive life sentences?” to which the judge responded, “Just do the best you can.”

There are no guarantees in life and there certainly is no guarantee that you will not become a victim of identity theft; but by reading this book, you will learn how to do the best you can, and you can certainly narrow your chances of becoming a victim.

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