An Excerpt:

What a horrible feeling it is to have someone steal your identity! Believe me, I know. One day I opened my new statement from a major credit card issuer and found that my balances were much higher than normal. Looking over the list of charges, I came across some extremely high charges at a men�s clothing store in Kissimmee, Florida and other charges at stores and in cities that I had never visited. The person who stole my identity charged over $5000 against my account.

Immediately, I checked my wallet and found that my only credit card for that account was still there. Hum? Next, I called the fraud number on my account statement, and spoke to the customer service representative. They questioned me about the illegal charges, immediately closed the account, and transferred the balance to a new account number. The next day, their fraud division called me and discussed the situation. This was followed up by an affidavit on which I stated that the charges were not made by me or with my authorization. Shortly thereafter, the charges, with interest, were removed from my new account.

  But, how did this happen? I still had my card, so the thief had to have access to my account number by either stealing into my room and copying down the card number or by purchasing the information from one of the vendors where I had ate or shopped. I was always very careful about using and storing my credit cards, but still I became a victim. Here are ways to reduce the chances of being a victim of Identity Theft.

Read more on Identity Theft from the Federal Trade Commission here.