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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is Your Identity Safe?


Credit cardImage via Wikipedia
We know identity theft is increasing as are all types of crimes. As time get tougher these crimes always increase. We can not achieve self reliance or maintain it, if someone else is controlling our finances through identity theft. There are steps to take and now is the time to take them.
  1. Check your credit report at least twice a year. Check with all three of the credit agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Review all the personal information on all three of the credit reports. Check for accuracy, credit accounts you didn’t open, loans, or any other transactions you didn’t authorize. Report any inaccuracies to each of the credit agencies and the police immediately. A fraud alert will be added to your account for 90 days so be sure to notify anyone you are applying for a loans with about the alert. Check back after the 90 days to be sure there are no charges after that date. Don’t assume the person stealing your identity has gone away.
  2. Be careful when using the ATM. If something feels wrong leave and return later. Never allow anyone to stand behind you when you are completing a transaction. Never carry your PIN code in your wallet. If your wallet is stolen wiping out your account is simple.
  3. Check your bills. Whether receiving your bills electronically or mail box at the street you are susceptible to identity theft. Check each statement to make sure you can account for every charge. If any seem strange or unfamiliar contact the company immediately.
  4. Check your bank statements carefully. Thieves can steal a check, or account number or even you debit card password and wipe you out. Again, anything that look suspicious investigate immediately.
  5. Contact the creditor of any fraudulent account or charge by phone, explain the situation and immediately have the account closed. They should open a new account for you with no problem at the same time. Follow up by contacting them in writing. Keep a list of all account numbers and phone numbers in a safe place where they can be accessed quickly in case they are needed.
  6. If you discover fraud contact the Federal Trade Commission and file a complaint. File complaint at: www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
  7. Call immediately if a bill or statement is late. If one looks as though it has been opened call immediately.
  8. Save yourself the hassle and:Never give you social security number, bank account number, credit card number, PIN number or password to anyone over the phone. Never. No reputable company or bank will ever ask. Mail all your mail at a post office or drop box, never by leaving it in your mailbox.
    If you are leaving town for more than a day have the post office hold your mail.
    Install anti virus and sky ware on all computers.
    Don’t throw bank statements, bills containing account numbers, credit card statements, credit card invitations, voided checks, pay stubs, tax forms (including your work sheets) or ATM transaction receipts in the trash. Shred or burn them.
Prepare today so you won’t be sorry tomorrow.
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Back issues: Totally Ready Newsletters July 2009- June 2010
My discussion with Doctor Prepper all about food storage part 1. .http://www.blogtalkradio.com/doctorprepper/2010/07/08/doctor-prepper-show
Doctor Prepper show all about food storage part 2. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/doctorprepper/2010/07/20/doctor-prepper-show
Talk with Halli: food storage and current financial outlook. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/idahotalk/2010/07/16/hfalli-friends