Identity theft occurs when your personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge or permission to commit fraud or other crimes. And it can cost you time and money as well as destroy your credit and ruin your good name.
IDENTITY THEFT HAPPENS BY:
1. “Old-Fashioned” Stealing. Identity thieves steal wallets and purses, mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers, new checks and tax information. Another method is the they of personnel records from employers themselves or bribe employees who have access to this sensitive information.
2. Dumpster Diving & Trash Scanning: Thieves are known to rummage through trash looking for bills, papers and discarded delivery wrappings and boxes with your personal information on it.
3. Computer Phishing. Ever get strange “pop ups” and strange emails pretend to be financial institutions or companies to get you to reveal your personal information.
4. Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card when you make retail purchase.
5. Changing Your Address. Thieves can easily divert your billing statements to another location by completing a “change of address” form.
Deter identity thieves by simply safeguarding your information.
Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before you discard them.
Protect your Social Security number. Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on a check. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another identifier.
Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you know who you are dealing with.
links sent in unsolicited emails; instead, type in a web address you know. Use firewalls,
anti-spyware, and anti-virus software to protect
your home computer; keep them up-to-date.
Visit OnGuardOnline.gov for more information.
Don’t use an obvious password like your birth date, your mother’s maiden name, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
personal information in a secure place
at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or are having work done in your house.
Be alert and aware of signs that your personal information has been compromised:
Bills that do not arrive as expected
credit cards or account statements
of credit for no apparent reason
Calls or letters about purchases you did not make
Inspect your credit report. Credit reports contain information about you, including what accounts you have and your bill paying history.
requires the major nationwide consumer reporting companies—Equifax, Experian,
and TransUnion—to give you a free copy of your credit report each year if you
ask for it.
or call 1-877-322-8228, a service created
by these three companies, to order your free credit reports each year.
also can write: Annual Credit Report Request Service,
P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
Your financial statements. Review financial accounts and billing statements regularly, looking for charges you did not make.
■ Place a “Fraud Alert” on your credit reports, and review the reports carefully. The alert tells creditors to follow certain procedures before they open new accounts in your name or make changes to your existing accounts. The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have toll-free numbers for placing an initial 90-day fraud alert; a call to one company is sufficient:
r Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
r Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
Placing a fraud alert entitles you to free copies of your
credit reports. Look for inquiries from companies you haven’t contacted, accounts you didn’t open, and debts on your accounts that you can’t explain.
Close accounts. Close any accounts that have been tampered with or established fraudulently.
the security or fraud departments of each company where an account was opened
or changed without your okay. Follow up in writing, with copies of supporting
Use the ID Theft Affidavit at ftc.gov/ID theft to support your written statement.
Ask for verification that the disputed account has been closed and the fraudulent debts discharged.
Keep copies of documents and records of your conversations about the theft.
File a police report. File a report with law enforcement officials to help you with creditors who may want proof of the crime.
Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission.
report helps law enforcement of cials across the country in their
r Online: ftc.gov/idtheft
r By phone: 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338)
r By mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse,
Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580
We are Credit Card Defense Attorneys. We control pesky credit card companies, collection agencies and their debt collection attorneys. We regularly get credit card cases dismissed, get debt settlements, and get substantial debt reduction by developing creative resolutions with creditors to confidentially and quickly resolve such matters on behalf of our clients. And we do it at very affordable rates!