Thursday, June 01, 2006

Your ID Is Stolen. That Sucks. Now What? 9.3 Million Victims.

Hope this never happens to anyone, but what if it does? How will you know? What do you look for? Who should I call if you think something is wrong? Tons of articles advising you on what if your credit is stolen telling you to call your credit card companies, credit bureaus, banks, etc. But what if you think you're just being too cautious? STOP. You can never be too cautious. Here are the steps I take to prevent my ID from being stolen: - I use the government's gift of a free annual credit report. And take the time to look through your entire history to make sure nothing seems out of the ordinary. Your credit report will often contain numbers to the reporting financial company, so call them if you have any questions. - I monitor my online account activity on a weekly basis. Credit cards, banks, investment, etc. I try not to let anything slip. - Don't submit your financial or personal information to any sites linked from emails if at all possible. - Discard personal information securely. Shred, burn, destroy all personal information. I've debated just throwing things away, and I admit, I do sometimes. When I get lazy, I'll rip a credit application in about 6 pieces and throw some of it in one trash can and the rest in another. - Call my financial institution whenever there's a question mark. Should I find something suspicious, I would immediately track down exactly when and where that happened, and then take the appropriate steps to stop it. Here are some quotes taken from an article on msnbc.com:
Study results indicate that consumers who spot fraud online suffer an average theft of about $500. Consumers who wait for paper records and suffer ID theft suffer average losses of $4,500.
So monitor your credit card and online account statements! So your ID is stolen...now what?
Also promising, she said, was a result showing average consumer time spent dealing with personal records cleanup from ID theft is now 28 hours, down from 33 last year.
Do you have 28 hours, which probably doesn't account for everything, to talk to someone over the phone explaining to them that you are, well, you? Remember,
"The fact is that nobody is more effective at preventing and protecting fraud than the individual," he said.
Here are some references in case ID Theft strikes you: http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/ http://www.complaints.com/directory/2004/april/18/11.htm http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6866768/ http://www.ssa.gov/oig/hotline/when.htm http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/idtheft.html http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/idtheft.htm And you may be interested in Credit Monitoring services. Also, check out this post by Frugal @ My 1st Million At 33.

7 comments:

City Girl said...

I'm going to be a cynic and say that, regardless of what we do to protect ourselves from identity theft, unless the companies in charge of our info shape up, we're all going to experience it one day.

City Girl said...

btw. love the flag. :-)

frugal said...

You have good links for ID theft.
Do you want to trackback to my article too?
http://www.1stmillionat33.com/2006/05/id-theft-prevention-measures/

freedumb said...

Frugal, no problem! I've linked your post...Thanks, FF

frugal said...

Hi FF,
I think I was using the word "trackback" correctly. What I really meant was for you to trackback or put a link of your article at my article (instead of the other way around, although I definitely thanks for your link). I'm using wordpress, and wordpress has a standard trackback path of adding /trackback/ after the article http path.
By the way, you're welcome to trackback to any of my articles if they are relevant. I've set it up such that anyone can trackback (putting a link) at all of my articles.
I wanted readers on my site to benefit from your article, and your site benefits from potential extra readers.
Regards & thanks for the link.

frugal

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sarah said...

Identity theft can happen to anyone. Previously, criminals stole your wallet for your cash. Now they want your wallet to steal your good name. Protect yourself and your identity. visit

id-fraud.net
for tips.

Sarah Willes