Amid the holiday season consumers are heading to the Internet and shopping malls to purchase gifts — and identity thieves are stepping up their efforts to steal personal information from them. A recent survey done for ID Analytics found that nearly half of all survey respondents have been targeted by ID thieves or know someone who has — and more than 70 percent fear becoming victims.
The survey, which interviewed more than 1,000 U.S. adults, found that 19 percent of people surveyed had become the victims of identity theft in the past, while another 24 percent knew someone who had been a victim. Despite efforts by government and law enforcement agencies to curb ID theft, 40 percent of those taking the survey said they were just as worried about identity theft as they were five years ago — and another 34 percent said they are more afraid of ID theft today.
Notaries can help prevent identity theft by ensuring that their journals — which contain sensitive personal information about signers often coveted by ID thieves — are kept secure in a locked area when not in use, and by never leaving a journal unattended out in the open while working to prevent unauthorized persons from looking through entries or taking the book.