Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Prevent Identity Theft

Identity thiefIdentity theft -- a catch-all term for crimes involving illegal usage of another individual's identity -- is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States and is now ranked as the fastest growing white-collar crime. Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, such as Social Security or credit card number, without your knowledge to fraudulently make purchases, obtain loans, or even to get a job, or worse, commit criminal acts in your name, leaving you responsible for the consequences.

Identity Theft ATM Victims of identity theft don't just experience an inconvenience but often endure a range of serious life-disrupting consequences, including harassment by debt collectors, loss of credit and denial of loans, job loss, and even arrest for crimes committed by the identity thief. Unfortunately, it is the victim who is responsible for cleaning up the mess and reestablishing their good name and credit. According to a report by the CALPIRG Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, victims of identity theft spend, on average, 600 hours trying to clear damaged credit or criminal records caused by identity theft, and many victims never recover funds stolen from their bank accounts or other sources and fail to fully restore their good credit. Even as a victim of identity theft, your liability for charges can increase the longer the crime goes unreported. Yet the Federal Trade Commission reports that it takes identity theft victims an average of 12 months to notice a crime has occurred.

Identity Theft - Learn More

 

How do you know if you're the victim of identity theft?

Credit available?There are a number of important clues, such as finding unexplained charges or withdrawls from your financial accounts, receiving credit cards you didn't apply for, being denied credit or receiving less favorable credit terms for no apparent reason, receiving calls and/or letters from debt collectors about merchandise or services you didn't buy, or being contacted by law enforcement agencies about a crime committed in your name.

 

How to protect against identity theft?

Happy Family Protecting your identity goes beyond checking your credit report once per year, especially since reacting swiftly in the event of a problem is essential. Three basic steps are involved to protecting yourself:

  1. Locking down your personal credit information
  2. Frequent and careful monitoring of your credit and other personal information
  3. Reacting quickly and thoroughly in the event of a breach

 

What Exactly Does an Identity Theft Protection Service Do?

Security teamAn identity theft protection service serves as a one-stop center to help you protect against identity theft by applying the three steps mentioned above (1-locking down your personal information, 2-monitoring of credit and personal information and 3-reacting quickly if a breach occurs) and working on your behalf with the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Can't I do this myself? Yes. Consumers can work directly with the credit bureaus and do many of these tasks themselves, without the need of a service. But it can be a hassle. For example, you must remember to renew "Fraud Alerts" (see below) every 90 days. In addition to convenience, identity theft protection services also provide thorough 24/7 monitoring of information and email alerts in the case of suspected breaches, and provide the peace of mind that they will work with attorneys and other experts to restore your identity should the worst occur, with warranties of $1 or 2 million.

Lock down credit cardsIdentity theft protection services work with the three credit bureaus to place what is called a "fraud alert" in your credit file and renew it every 90 days. This means that creditors must contact you and/or take other reasonable steps to verify your identity and confirm that the credit application is not a result of identity theft. Placing a fraud alert on your credit profile also has the welcome benefit of reducing the amount of pre-approved credit offers that are sent to you in the mail. Such offers are a common source of identity theft as identity thieves steal them from mailboxes in well-to-do neighborhoods.

identityTruth's monitoring reportsOnce your credit records are secure, identity theft protection services monitor your personal information as early detection of a problem is critically important to minimizing the damage an identity thief can do. Some services monitor not only your credit information, but may also monitor specific accounts or suspicious information found on the Internet or in public records databases. Finally, should the worst occur, identity theft protection services will work with you to resolve the problem, including hiring attorneys and other experts if necessary, to make things right.

 

Recommendations

Identity theft preventionWe compare the top identity theft protection services. We recommend all as each are well-established, provide excellent service and have enjoyed accolades from the media (see sidebar at left) and strong testimonials from their subscribers. But each provider offers something a bit different, so choose the one that best meets your needs.

 

Identity Theft - Learn More

Books

Identity Theft: The Personal Guide

Product Description
Identity Theft: The Personal Guide— Identity Theft CANNOT be Prevented, at this point in time. Your information is already out there. You may be cautious, but, the people/ businesses that have your personal information may be careless. Secondly, you CANNOT Predict, when, the thieves will come calling for your good name. Your information is already out there. Thankfully, you CAN Prepare. Preparation begins when you start reading this book today. Because your information– IS ALREADY OUT THERE…. More >>

Identity Theft: The Personal Guide


Identity Theft: Prevention and Victim Assistance

Identity Theft: Prevention and Victim Assistance


Identity Theft Prevention For The College Student

Product Description
YOU MUST PROTECT YOURSELF! College Students are one of the highest risk groups for having their identities stolen. This book will help you keep your identity safe with preventive strategies and numerous step-by-step tips and techniques. For the past eight consecutive years, identity theft has been the number one crime in the United States…. More >>

Identity Theft Prevention For The College Student


Tips to Preventing Identity Theft: 50 Plus One

  • ISBN13: 9781933766065
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes:

Product Description
Your first step to protecting your family, your money and your identity. This book is particularly important if you travel internationally or buy on the Internet. The more complicated your financial life, the more vulnerable you may be and the more important this book is to keeping your finances secure…. More >>

Tips to Preventing Identity Theft: 50 Plus One


The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Recovering from Identity Theft

Product Description
A clear path out of the nightmare.

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States and in many cases the victim has no knowledge of the theft until the situation is dire. Author Mari J. Frank, an attorney and advocate for victims of identity theft, takes the reader through every step necessary to reclaim their identity and wipe the records of theft off of all reports.

•Covers every kind of fraud including bank, credit card, loans, insurance, medical, government, tax, professional license, business, employer, and online

•A step by step process to reclaiming identity and wiping the records of theft off all reports… More >>

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Recovering from Identity Theft


     

Tools

Master Lock 7120D 10-by-8-5/8-by-1-7/8-Inch Locking Security Bag, Blue

  • Safely carry cash, jewelry and confidential documents
  • Water resistant nylon
  • Built in high security lock
  • 10-Inch (25.4cm)-by-8-5/8-Inch (21.9cm)-by-1-7/8-Inch (4.8cm)
  • Nylon reinforced seams

Product Description
11-3/4″ x 8-1/4″, Blue, Locking Security Bag, Heavy Duty Rip Stop Nylon Reinforced Seams…. More >>

Master Lock 7120D 10-by-8-5/8-by-1-7/8-Inch Locking Security Bag, Blue


Multi-Blade Shredding Scissor – Paper Shredder – Home and Garden > Accessories

  • Manufactured to the Highest Quality Available.
  • Design is stylish and innovative. Satisfaction Ensured.
  • Great Gift Idea.

Product Description
The Multi Blade Shredder Scissors features 5 pairs of stainless steel blades for quick manual shredding. Easily shred bank statements, credit card receipts and more without an expensive electric shredder. Great for home or office use…. More >>

Multi-Blade Shredding Scissor – Paper Shredder – Home and Garden > Accessories


Sentry Safe UC-039K Solid Steel Drop Slot Safe, Gray

  • Solid steel construction
  • Gray powder coat finish
  • Includes anti-fish slot and anti-pry door
  • Exterior dimensions: 12.0-Inch height by 8.0-Inch width by 10.3-Inch depth
  • Interior dimensions: 10-Inch height by 7.8-Inch width by 8.5-Inch depth

Product Description
This furniture arrives fully assembled! Ships UPS, inside delivery not available. Under Counter Drop Slot Depository Safe .39 cu ft. UC-039K Features: Hardened solid steel construction Anti-fish slot Dual head keys and relocking device Bottom side piano hinge door Bolt down kit included, predrillied anchor holes Finish: Gray Dimensions: Exterior: 8″(W) x 10.3″(D) x 12″(H) Interior: 7.8″(W) x 8.5″(D) x 10″(H)… More >>

Sentry Safe UC-039K Solid Steel Drop Slot Safe, Gray


Digital Electronic Safe for Home or Business – 1.0 Cubic Foot Interior Space

  • Solid Steel Electronic Safe.
  • Gun Safe
  • Features Dual Security System: Keyed Or Keyless Entry Safe.
  • Concealed Hinges

Product Description
Allows keyed or key-less entry with your own custom-created digital code*Avoid fumbling for the right key in an emergency or whenever urgent access is required*Can be permanently and securely attached to wall or floor from inside (heavy-duty bolts included)*Worry-free and economical way to keep cash, jewelry, medicine and irreplaceable items safe*Our most popular-sized safe; easy to conceal with 1000 cubic-inches of interior spaceEasily store and keep valuables safe at home or office with this digital safe; works with included key or your own customized digital code you program. For added security, we’ve made the hinges concealed so they’re tamper-proof. Plus, we include heavy-duty bolts for attaching permanent… More >>

Digital Electronic Safe for Home or Business – 1.0 Cubic Foot Interior Space


Master Lock 7121TRI NonLock Storage Bag, 3-Pack

  • Safely carry cash, jewelry and confidential documents
  • Water resistant nylon
  • Nylon reinforced seams

Product Description
3 Pack, Blue, Non-Locking Utility Bag, Heavy Duty Rip Stop Nylon, Reinforced Seams…. More >>

Master Lock 7121TRI NonLock Storage Bag, 3-Pack


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