Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves
"Every two seconds. That was the pace at which Americans became victims of identity theft in 2013--and that's just the cases we know about." This is Adam Levin's warning to readers in Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves. But his advice is not about how to keep your information completely hidden. He explains that if you're in any way plugged into the commerce of daily life, your information is almost certainly already out there, and that it's only a matter of time before identity thieves strike. His advice is for "realists"--people willing to acknowledge the inevitability and take practical measures to protect themselves.
While personal security can be a dry subject, Levin makes his case through intriguing anecdotes, like that of a teenage cashier ("Alex from Target") who became world-famous overnight when a stranger posted his photo to Twitter, and disturbing stories of adult children whose parents destroyed their credit under their noses. He argues that the current underfunding of the IRS leaves gaping vulnerabilities in our system (a problem that's estimated to lose the government $21 billion to identity thieves over the next five years). Most importantly, he offers straightforward advice that any layperson can use.
A founder and chairman of Identity Theft 911 and Credit.com, Levin has made informing and protecting consumers the focus of his career. As he stresses throughout Swiped, identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in the United States, and one that no one can afford to ignore. --Annie Atherton