Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft
Copyright © Craig Warren
Protecting yourself from identity theft is easier than
Your identity is stolen when someone uses your name,
social security number, or other personal information
to get credit cards or loans.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports there were
9 million cases of identity theft last year with losses
to consumers of more than $5 billion. The simplest kind
is credit card fraud, which accounts for over 60% of
Get your free credit report
Check for identity theft by reviewing your credit report
at least once a year. You can get a free credit report
every 12 months by calling (877) 322-8228 or online and
the Annual Credit Report web site.
Review your credit report for accounts you did not open
and for account balances that are suspiciously high.
Only carry the credit and identification cards you need.
Make copies of the cards you carry and keep them in a
safe place. If your wallet disappears, you will have
the information you need to report them as lost or stolen.
Do not respond to e-mail messages or telephone calls
asking for personal and financial information.
Identity theft warning signs
Here are the most common signs of identity theft:
Your credit card statement has charges you did not make.
You get bills for accounts you never opened.
You are denied credit for no apparent reason.
Money is missing from your bank account.
If your identity is stolen
Get a copy of your credit report. Note accounts you did
not open and account balances that are suspiciously high.
Contact the major credit reporting companies. Ask them to
place a Fraud Alert on your report. This alerts businesses
to verify your identity before issuing credit and stops
thieves from opening new accounts in your name.
File an Identity Theft Police Report at your local police
station and keep a copy.
Contact companies that have reported accounts you did not
open or charges you didnt make. Send them a copy of your
police report and a certified letter disputing the
Keep a record of your calls and letters.
Tip Of The Day:
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