Identity theft and protection review stresses the importance of being aware everyday that everybody has our information. People are living today with identities like an open book. So I thought it might be a good idea to help others by writing an identity theft and protection review.
Never get complacent on how your personal information is handled.People do just that each and everyday, without giving it any thought at all.
You pay bills and they have all your information. Drugstores have it, supermarkets, retailers, you name it, and you really can’t control it.
Your Identity Is Everywhere
Everyone has your information. Hospitals, doctors and dentists, grocery stores, the pharmacy, they all have it! Crooks have endless avenues to pursue in getting your information.
In fact a search online in public records search will turn up a lot of our information, in seconds.
Imagine,someone using your name to steal something they want, or to get a job, or health care.
Once crooks have some personal data, it becomes a powerful tool.
You become a victim of a crime and don’t even know it. Now you are a victim because of identity theft of your own name.
Old School Identity Theft-Bad Checks and Fake Names
Bad check writing and fake names has been used for decades. Although, it is still common, it is much more sophisticated. Today crooks use our own information to hide what they do and what they’re up to.
This is why it becomes very important for you to protect yourself. Become aware of anything that may help to stop someone from stealing your identity. Or the identity of someone you know.
We have become the first line of defense in trying to stop this enormous problem.To do that we need all information and education we can get to fight this in our society today.
Secure your Identity
This scenario happens almost 3000 times every day. People who are not affected don’t really worry about it. You never know when the day will come and the stone is now in your shoe,and you are the one affected.
It will suddenly become very important to you, and will you know what to do? This is a devastating crime, and will make a big big difference in your life as you know it now.Cleaning up the mess after someone has used your name to steal from you.
We Must Insist on Privacy of Personal Information
How do most crooks get your information. Sometimes it is simply losing your wallet, with all your cards intact, or someone stole your wallet or purse. You may have your mail stolen, or thieves going through your trash find out all about you.
Maybe they overheard something you said as you talk on your phone?
I personally have a pet peeve with hospitals and doctors offices that make you stand there and verbally give them out loud all your personal information.
Or they repeat it, out loud in front of all the people seated in the office. It’s the perfect opportunity for someone to simply record it on their phone.
Identity Theft Protection for Personal Information
Today the crooks are much more sophisticated. Phishing emails asking about missing data somewhere or money you have won in some phony contest.
They contain links that once you click on them, take you directly to the crooks website. Then, malware is installed on your computer to download all your personal information.
Maybe someone, at the bank, or market has copied your personal information. They could have hacked the account, and now they use or even sell your information.
A crook could find your laptop or phone and just look through it. That is an easy way to find out phone numbers, and addresses, and maybe birthdays as well. Always keep you phone and laptop securely locked with a password.
What Can We Do To Protect Ourselves
Never carry your social security number with you. Always shred all your documents before you put them in the trash. Lock up your mailbox, and stop your mail when you go on vacation or out of town for a few days. Be careful what you say on your phone in public.
Always protect your computer with anti-malware and spyware removal protection.
Check your credit reports often or consider hiring a credit monitoring agency, they can alert you of any new activity in your account.
Here is a list of tips recommended by the Fraud Division of the FBI
Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft and Fraud
- Never throw away ATM receipts, credit statements, credit cards, or bank statements in a usable form.
- Never give your credit card number over the telephone unless you make the call.
- Reconcile your bank account monthly, and notify your bank of discrepancies immediately.
- Keep a list of telephone numbers to call to report the loss or theft of your wallet, credit cards, etc.
- Report unauthorized financial transactions to the bank, the credit card companies, and the police as soon as you detect them.
- Review a copy of your credit report at least once each year. Notify the credit bureau in writing of any questionable entries.Then, follow through until they are explained or removed.
- If your identity has been assumed, ask the credit bureau to print a statement to that effect in your credit report.
- Should you know of anyone who receives mail from credit card companies or banks in the names of others, report it to local or federal law enforcement authorities.
HELP FOR VICTIMS OF IDENTITY THEFT
Federal Trade Commission – FTC: a non-investigative agency, the FTC collects information about ongoing scams to share with law enforcement.
- Consumer Response Center – FTC | 1-877-382-4357 | www.ftc.gov
- FTC Identity Theft Hotline | 1-877-438-4338 | www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft
- Do Not Call Registry – FTC | 1-800-275-8777 | www.donotcall.gov
- National Credit Reporting Agencies
- Equifax | 1-800-525-6285 | www.equifax.com
- Experian | 1-888-397-3742 | www.experian.com
- Trans Union | 1-800-680-7289 | www.transunion.com
To report Internet fraud, file a complaint, or read the latest warnings at the ICCC
- Internet Crime Complaint Center | www.ic3.gov
- U.S. Postal Inspection Service: To report ID Theft that involves the U.S. mail. | 1-800-275-8777
- Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) | 1-800-732-0330 | www.sec.gov
- National Foundation for Consumer Credit: Prevent victimization by private consumer credit agencies. | 1-800-388-2227 | www.nfcc.org
- National Consumer’s League National Fraud Information Center | 1-800-876-7060 | www.fraud.org
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging: For information on services for elders in your location | 1-800-677-1116 | www.eldercare.gov
More Fraud Reporting Agencies
- Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline: To report theft or fraudulent use of your SSN. | 1-800-269-0271 | www.ssa.gov
- Direct Marketing Association DMA opt out service stops preapproved credit card offers: To remove your name from mail, phone, or e-mail lists. | 1-888-567-8688 | thedma.org/
- National Association of Attorneys General: For information on your state’s Attorney General’s Office and consumer protection services. | 1-202-326-6000 | www.naag.org
- National Crime Victim Bar Association: For information regarding filing civil lawsuits against a perpetrator or other responsible party and help locating attorneys specializing in victim-related litigation. | 1-202-467-8716
If you need help or have any questions, please contact me below.
If you want to learn more about spotting scams and how to avoid them, or how to start the business you have been dreaming about? Let me show you how it is possible, to work when you want, and live the life you have dreamed of living.