While many may be looking forward to the New Year and the opportunities it brings, there may be one danger lurking in 2011 - identity theft. The beginning of a new year is a time when online criminals target working adults, according to CBS.
During the month of January, it may be easier for thieves to access sensitive information, as employers typically send banks documents such as W-2s, 1099s and brokerage statements. These items often contain social security numbers and other data that can lead to identity theft.
Though many criminals may use the internet to obtain personal information, others use very low-tech methods, such as digging through a person's trash, stealing pieces of mail out of a mailbox or simply looking over someone's shoulder in a public place. Fortunately, there are some methods consumers can employ to protect themselves.
One way to ensure that your data won't fall into the wrong hands is to keep track of the important documents you are expecting to receive in January. Additionally, the news source urges concerned workers to check their mail on a daily basis.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, approximately 9 million people in the U.S. fall victim to identity theft every year.