Imagine you come home one night to discover a back window is open. You glance around. Nothing appears to be missing. Nothing is broken or out of place. You forget about it and go to bed.
It is not until six months later when you are preparing for a trip out of the country that you realize your passport is missing, along with a stack of old credit cards that you rarely or never use. It’s then you remember the back window.
Chances are, you were a victim of identity theft and you never even realized it. Home break-ins are one common way that identity thieves can target you. They can go through your belongings to discover personal information including social security numbers, credit card numbers, driver’s licenses, or whatever other confidential information they might readily find around your house. What they can do with that information is the really scary part.
To protect yourself, it is a good idea to store personal documents in a less obvious place than an office or file cabinet. The best bet is a safe. In addition, if you do suspect a burglar has been in your home, check your personal documents to see if anything is missing, just as you would check your jewelry box. After all, your identity is perhaps your most valuable possession.