Protect Your Identity

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your name, Social Security number, or credit card number without your permission.

Identity thieves may obtain a credit card, or establish a telephone account in your name. You may not find out about the theft until you’re contacted by a debt collector.

Identity thieves use a variety of methods to get your information, including:

  • Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.

  • Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.

  • Phishing. They contact you pretending to be financial institutions or companies and get you to reveal your personal information.

  • Old-Fashioned Stealing. They steal wallets and mail. They steal personnel records, or bribe employees who have access.

  • Pretexting. They use false pretenses to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies, and other sources. A pretexter may call you claiming to be from a research firm. He will get you to reveal your name, address, birthdate and social security number. Then he calls your financial institution. He pretends to be you or someone with authorized access to your account. He might claim that he's forgotten his checkbook and needs information about his account. Now the pretexter has all the information he needs, including your bank and credit card account numbers.
Identity thieves use your information in a variety of ways:

They open new credit card accounts in your name. When they use the cards and don't pay the bills, the delinquent accounts appear on your credit report.
  • They may change the billing address on your credit card and then run up charges on your account. Because your bills are now sent to a different address, it may be some time before you realize there's a problem.

  • They may open a new phone or cellphone account in your name.

  • They can use your name to get utility services like electricity, heating, or cable TV.

  • They can create counterfeit checks using your name or account number.

  • They can open a bank account in your name and write bad checks.

  • They may clone your ATM or debit card and drain your accounts.

  • They might take out a loan in your name.

  • They may give your personal information to police during an arrest. If they don't show up for their court date, a warrant for arrest is issued in your name.
So how can you protect yourself?

LifeLock is a service that protects your identity. In all fairness, you can protect your identity without using LifeLock. But, it would require hours and hours to stay on top of everything. For about $100/year, the piece of mind is worth it.

LifeLock is the only Identity Theft Prevention Solution backed by a one-million dollar guarantee! Click here to get a 10% discount.

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1 comment:

QueenBee said...

This afternoon I was mistakenly called by a debt collection agency. The person calling gave his name, phone number and advised me to call his office immediately regarding a debt I supposedly owed. Instead of calling his office, I called LifeLock. They straightened out the problem in ten minutes. It would probably have taken me several weeks to get this collection agency to correct their error.

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