One of the most annoying and troublesome things you can experience is to have your identity stolen. It could very well be days or weeks before you discover that something is wrong, and by then plenty of damage has been done. Bills are run up in your name, your credit gets trashed, and you have to argue with jerk collectors over money that you haven't even spent. Just about every aspect of your life becomes an open book, and it's a long and painful process to fix everything.
MSNBC reports that 1 in 12 people will become a victim of identity theft. The most recent story regarding identity theft on a big scale happened with retailer TJ Maxx. Almost 46 million identities were stolen from the corporate giant over an 18-month period. When you consider that there are 300 million people in the U. S. , that means almost one-sixth of the country's population was affected by this one incident!
Theft doesn't have to happen on a large scale like that. Many thefts occur because a close friend or even a family member who is bad with money will steal the information of someone they know so they can get a cell phone, open a bank account or even gamble online. This is the lowest of the low. If you sign someone else's name instead of your own and you don't have a signed and notarized power of attorney, you are a criminal who should go to jail.
This is just one more reason to show you that credit cards are never a good idea. Identity theft is real and the more cards you have, the easier a target you become. That's not to make you paranoid or feel like everyone's out to get you, but you must be very careful with your identity. This is a good example of why cash is the best way to buy something. Not only do you tend to spend less when you use cash, but your identity is safe. You also don't have to worry about being charged 18% interest when you use bills.
Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert, an extremely popular national radio personality and best-selling author of The Total Money Makeover . Dave is changing the face of America by helping people get out of debt and build wealth. Ramsey exemplifies his life's work of teaching others how to be financially responsible, so they can acquire enough wealth to take care of loved ones, live prosperously into old age, and give generously to others. Find out more of what Dave says about identity theft .