Although a welcome development, the evolution of technology didn’t come without its array of challenges, one of them being the increase in IT-related crimes. Over the years, many criminals, seeing the government’s efforts, citizens, and several organizations curbing their activities, have resorted to plying their ‘trades’ on the internet.
Since the turn of the century, many criminal activities, which had hitherto existed on a low, have gained prominence due to the development of IT. Many evils are being perpetrated, and many lives negatively affected. One of such activities is identity theft.
In this article, we’ll be looking at what identity theft is all about, its types, and victims with an emphasis on baseball players. As a baseball player, you’ll also be armed with how to deal with an ID theft incident if you ever fall victim.
What Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing and most widely committed crimes in the United States. It happens when someone intentionally uses or possesses a means of identifying another person, without legal authority, with the intent to commit or aid in carrying out unlawful activity.
To execute the theft, it’s not necessary to gain access to the victim’s abode. It can be carried out with personal data, which can be gotten from the internet space, with the help of hackers.
Types of Identity Theft
When identity theft is mentioned, many tend to look at it from social security numbers and financial angles. However, there’s more to identity theft than the loss of finances. Let’s quickly take a look at some of the types we have.
· Financial Identity Theft
This type is the most common and arguably the most devastating. It can come in two ways; first, the victim can have their bank account debited or have a credit card stolen, and funds wiped. Second, the victim’s identity can be used to take loans and credits, leaving them in a massive pile of financial debt.
· Social Security Identity Theft
Here, the victim’s social security number, which contains sensitive and confidential personal information, may be used in defrauding the government and diverting monetary benefits meant for the victim. It may also be used in falsifying documents or to apply for credit.
· Child Identity Theft
This type of theft happens when someone uses a child’s social security number is used to commit fraud. It’s a crime that can go undetected for years. Fraudsters can use the SSN to apply for government benefits, credits, or loans.
Who Are the Victims of Identity Fraud?
When people think of identity theft, many are often of the opinion that it only happens to a particular set of people (wealthy folks). But the truth of the matter is that whether you’re rich or poor, young or old, male or female, you can be a victim. However, it’s more pronounced and prevalent with celebrities than any other person. Persons into sports, music, movies, etc. are usually the target of these fraudsters due to their popularity and wealth.
Dealing With an ID Theft Incident as a Professional Baseball Player
People in the baseball business, especially professional players, are known to be easy targets for identity fraudsters, majorly due to their fame and wealth. The saying “prevention is better than cure” is an understatement, and it’s always advised that measures to forestall any ID theft incident should be taken all the time.
However, it’s like humans to err. It’s tough to keep up with very various preventive measures every time due to external factors. Moreover, these criminals will go any length to get your personal information and use it against you no matter how hard you try and don’t usually stop until they do.
So, you might wake up one day to notifications from your bank informing you of an unauthorized attempt to withdraw money made on your account, through is identity theft. This situation is bound to get you all sweaty and confused. If this or something similar ever happens to you, below are some tips you should adopt in handling the situation.
1. Engage the Services of an Identity Protection Company
Several companies provide legal help in identity protection and related matters. If you discover that someone’s been trying to use your personal information and identity to commit fraud, consider employing the services of a reputable identity protection company that will guide you on steps to take charge of the situation before things become devastating.
2. Reach Out to Your Bank/Account Officer Immediately
It’s no news that identity theft cases involving high-profile persons more often than not result in a substantial financial loss. So, notify your account officer immediately of the issue and block all access to your account. Get a credit report of your account to ensure everything is in order.
3. Make a Report to the Federal Trade Commission/Law Enforcement Agency
Falling victim of identity can lead to the loss of lots of money as a baseball player, and a recovery plan is usually your best bet to get back on your feet. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, you should quickly make a report to the Federal Trade Commission. A personal recovery plan will be created for you. Then, proceed to make an official report with law enforcement agencies.
4. Hire a Private Investigator
As a baseball player, finding out that someone has been using your identity and fame to defraud unsuspecting individuals in another state can be a painful experience. Another twist to this particular crime is that, like many identity theft cases, it’s not easy to tackle by relying on law enforcement agencies alone because of technicalities that usually arise with legal jurisdiction.
So, a case like this is best addressed with the help of a private investigator who would fish out the culprit, after which they can then be handed over to a law enforcement authority.
Identity theft is a bane to the growth of American society and could be one of the most significant issues if proper measures aren’t put in place. People in the sports sector, a group in which baseball falls, are big targets for these criminals.
As a baseball player, while you must take strict precautionary measures to prevent yourself from becoming a victim, you must also endeavor to arm yourself with the necessary knowledge of what to do should you ever become a victim.
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