Monday, May 30, 2005

A Burgular Alarm for your Credit & Public Information?

You lock your car & home when you're it makes
sense to also have the same level of security for your credit, too.

To implement an automatic, early warning system for
when someone is using your name, check out myFico®'s
Identity Theft Security Deluxe service.

One of the features we liked about this service is not
only do they monitor credit data, but also numerous
public data sources which would be virtually
impossible for you to keep track of by yourself.

According to Fico, the creators of the standard score
used for most lending decisions in America today,
there's a compelling argument to be made to using
their service.

"Every week, myFICO® Identity Theft Security Deluxe
scours more than 400 different sources of public and
commercial data, looking for changes in your personal
data. We search not only credit bureaus but also
utilities, property deeds and assessment, bankruptcy
filings, vehicle data and other public sources."

The service also allows for you to keep an eye on
your Fico score in addition to your identity theft

"Every quarter, check your myFICO® Identity Theft
Security Deluxe report to see what's changed and what
it means to your FICO® score. It's the best way to
fight fraud or recover from it. And it also shows you
how your credit actions are affecting your FICO® score
and your borrowing power."

Finally, myFICO® Identity Theft Security Deluxe
features theft resolution service including a $25,000
insurance policy.

The cost of the service:

$4.95/month -or- $49.95/year (pre-paid)

So, for roughly $50 - $60 per year depending on
whether you choose a monthly or annual paid plan, it's
a very cost effective alternative to having nothing at
all to insure your identity theft prevention strategy.

For more information on this service, check out our resources section.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Automated Credit Monitoring....ID Theft Alerts & Cost of Future Financing

Imagine an id thief has opened up a new credit card
account without your knowledge using your stolen
information 2 months ago and went on a large spending
spree to max out that $5,000 credit card limit.

Because that credit card account is now 60 days
delinquent with the serious prospect of becoming a
collection flag on your credit report, you're FICO
score is facing the very real possibility of large

Delinquent payments and collections can have a major
negative impact on your score. Payment history and
amounts owed can collectively explain up to 65% of
your FICO score.

Did you know by improving your credit score by 100 may
save you up to $3,000 in financing expense on that
next new car purchase you were planning?

So, you could have potentially eliminated this problem
of over-paying on your next new auto loan by adopting
automatic credit monitoring available from the major
credit bureaus and FICO.

The various services offered monitor your credit
report automatically to notify you about fraudulent
activity, new inquiries, new accounts, late payments,
and more so you can spot possible signs of identity

Having that preventive edge can then provide you the
means to dispute un-warranted activity and fraud on
your credit report ultimately saving you hundeds of

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Every 79 Seconds a New Victim...Need Fast, Automatic Help?

this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, May 16, 2005

What to Consider First....If You Become a Victim

If you find you have become a victim of identity
theft, immediately take the following actions:

File a police report.

Contact your banker.

Notify all of those with whom you have a financial

Tag accounts closed due to fraud, "Closed at consumers

Notify credit bureau fraud units.

Establish a password for telephone inquires on credit
card accounts.

Place a fraud alert statement on your credit report.

Request bi-monthly copies of your credit report until
your case is resolved (Free to fraud victims)

Report check theft to check verification companies.

Check post office for unauthorized change of address

Follow-up contacts with letters and keep copies of all

Sunday, May 15, 2005

How to Tell You've Become an Identity Theft Victim!

How can I tell if I'm a victim of Identity Theft?

* Monitor the balances of your financial accounts to
especially look for unexplained charges or withdrawals.

* Failing to receive bills or other mail, which may
signal an address change by the identity thief

* Receiving credit cards, and/or statements of
accounts, for which you did not apply

* A lender tries to repossess a car you didn't know
you owned
* being contacted by the police after a crime is committed in your name.
* being denied credit for no apparent reason...
* receiving calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you did not buy.

REACT QUICKLY if a creditor or merchant calls you about charges you didn't make. This, too, may be the first notice you get that someone has stolen your identity. Get as much information from them as you can and investigate immediately.

Although any of these indications could be a result of a simple error, you should not assume that there's been a mistake and do nothing.

Always follow up with the business or institution.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

"Opt-Out" from Pre-Screened Credit Offers

"Opting-Out" of Pre-Screened Credit Offers is your
right & can significantly lower your risk of becoming
a victim of identity theft or fraud.

If you receive pre-screened credit card offers in the
mail (those based upon your credit history), but don't
tear them up after you decide you don't want to accept
the offer, identity thieves can retrieve the offers
for their own use without your knowledge.

While shredding your mail before disposing into the
trash is a good practice to follow, better still is to
get your name off those lists so the offers will not
even be sent to you home address.

Our tip for today:

To opt out of receiving pre-screened credit card
offers, call: 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567- 8688).

The three major credit bureaus use the same toll-free
number to let consumers choose to not receive
pre-screened credit offers.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Preventing Identity Theft involving your Phone Service...

To help prevent fraud and identity theft, check with
your telephone service provider(s) about the option to
provide a password which must be used any time your
local, cell, and long distance accounts are changed.

Exercise that option, if it's available. If your
calling card has been stolen or there are fraudulent
charges, cancel it and open a new account.

Check with your service provider for their fraud
hotline number. In addition, you may want to ask your
telephone service provider to implement a "carrier
freeze". This prevents a third party or competing
service provider from changing your local toll or long
distance service carrier without your permission (a
practice sometimes called "slamming".

Thursday, May 12, 2005

How you get stuck Paying when Thieves steal your Personal Identity

How you do pay when identity thieve steal your personal information?

Go on spending sprees using your credit and debit card account numbers to buy "big-ticket" items like computers that they can easily sell.

Open a new credit card account, using your name, date of birth and SSN. When they use the credit card and don’t pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report.

Call your credit card issuer and, pretending to be you, ask to change the mailing address on your credit card account. The imposter then runs up charges on your account. Because your bills are being sent to the new address, it may take some time before you realize there’s a problem.

Buy cars by taking out auto loans in your name.

Establish phone or wireless service in your name.

Counterfeit checks or debit cards, and drain your bank account of all available funds.

Open a bank account in your name and write bad checks on that account.

File for bankruptcy under your name to avoid paying debts they’ve incurred under your name or to avoid eviction.

Give your name to the police during an arrest. If they’re released from police custody, but don’t show up for their court date, an arrest warrant is issued in your name.

The common trait with all of these common identity theft methods, is the consumer was not aware they're personal information had been stolen.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts where you will learn methods and sources to protect yourself from becoming a potential identity theft or credit information victim.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Special Instances to Get more than 1 Free Credit Report per Year

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

How can I get my Free Credit Report from all 3 major Credit Bureaus?

A recent amendment to the Fair Credit
Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the major nationwide
consumer reporting companies to provide you with a
free copy of your credit reports once every 12 months
if you request it.

Beginning September 1, 2005, free credit reports will
be accessible from a single source to all Americans
regardless of where they live.

To order your free annual report from one or all the
national consumer reporting companies, visit or call toll-free

Updated 3/3/05:

Google Video featuring segment from U.S. Treasury

Monday, May 09, 2005

What's Your Identity Theft Risk?

Did you ever know some of the top ways you're
making yourself vulnerable to identity theft?

Not sure? Ask yourself some of these key questions:

1) Do you carry your Social Security card in your

2) Do you have my SSN or driver's license number
printed on your personal checks?

3) Do you carry your insurance card in your wallet
containing either your SSN or your spouse's as the ID

4) Do you not shred bank and credit card statements
before throwing them in the trash because you do not
believe people would root around your garbage cans?

5) Ordered a copy of your credit report within the
past 24 months?

Sunday, May 08, 2005

A Low Tech Tip to Foil Identity Thieves

An alarming amount of identity theft uses "low tech" methods.

Start with guarding your mail.

Consider using a locked mailbox or slot to
receive mail at home. Deposit mail in postal mailboxes
or in the post office to discourage mail theft.
Further, you can request your bank to not mail your
check re-orders to your home.

Why? Here's just one example from a U.S. Postal
Inspectors investigation of just how far identity
thieves will go to steal your personal information
using "low tech" methods.

U.S. Postal Inspectors determined that, between 1990
and 2000, a California identity thief had recruited
numerous individuals to steal mail from residential
mailboxes in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles,

The man rented boxes at commercial mail receiving
agencies(CMRAs) to maintain his anonymity and diverted
his victims' credit card and bank mail to those

He also opened new accounts in victims' names and had
the mail sent to the CMRAs.

By investing in a locked mail box, you can prevent one
of the more common "low tech" methods identity theft

Given the average identity theft victim incurs losses
of $7,000 or more, this is one the most effective
investments you can make all this year.

Friday, May 06, 2005

So What Does Identity Theft lead to?

Ever wonder what the identity theft typically will
do with your stolen personal information?

Thieves often open new credit-card and cell-phone
accounts. Cases reported to the federal government in
a recent survey include the following:

Percent of all cases

Credit card - 42%

Phone or utilities - 22%

Bank - 17%

Employment-related - 9%

Benefits or government documents - 8%

Attempted ID theft - 8%

Loans - 6%

Other - 16%

Thursday, May 05, 2005

11 Million People, $7,000 on average & more.....

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

A Fast, No-Cost Way to Monitor Against Identity Theft & Limit your Liability

Did you know that identity thieves count on most
people's everyday lives being simply too busy to check
out their bank and credit card statements each month
for fraudulent activity or purchases.

Even if you discover that you have been victimized by
an identity theft, often times the speed of your
response will have a dramatic impact on your personal
liability amount.

Review credit card and bank account statements as soon
as you receive them to determine whether there are any
unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by
more than a couple of days, call your credit card
company or bank to confirm your billing address and
account balances.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

About Us Id Theft Secrets Blog

Motivated by a personal incident of being an identity theft victim, we
strive to provide simple informational tools so that others can be spared
the impact of this crime.

Starting in November, 2002 we began publishing a 27 page "how to"
kit available as an instantly downloadable eBook which was well
recieved by the community of would be victims.

I could have really used Identity Theft: Exposed. A former landlord used my credit information years after I moved away from his apartment complex. It took me 9 months to get those fraudulent charges erased from my credit file. I wondered why I kept getting turned down on jobs I was qualified for.

Joe W., California

Raising teen age kids is challenging enough...when they open and use credit cards in your's beyond embarrassing. Your "how to" kit really saved my bacon.

H. Hicks, Virginia

I highly recommended Identity Theft Secrets: Exposed! As a corporate auditor I often find most people simply do not take the necessary steps to guard their personal financial security.

J. Jones, Arkansas

Due to popular demand for more identity theft prevention tips, but
made available on a more frequent schedule, we started our blog in
May, 2005.

Coming by New Year's day, 2006 - we will have an updated version
of the blog available which will incorporate the original website along with
expanded content areas of consumer information safety.

In the interim, though, we'll provide frequent (typically 2x - 3x per week)
blog updates available both as spam free RSS and email alerts to our subscribers.
Additionally, we also offer free, MP3 audio Podcasts of selected content for all you
road warriors.

Tell your friends and associates about us, as we're subscriber supported - and
growing as the horrendous crime continues to unfold across all segments of

We encourage you to contact us with your very own personal testimonials
of how we have made a positive contribution to your identity theft

Monday, May 02, 2005

TeleMarketers soon to have your Cell Phone Number - Want to Stop Them First?

That's right telemarketing companies will soon have
legal, un-fettered access to your wireless phone account
information. So, you now can expect to get those
un-welcomed dinner time phone calls on your cell
phone, too.

However, you can stop those pesky telemarketers from
abusing your personal cell & home phone information
with one easy to use site that's free(see below).

The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice
about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home.
Most telemarketers should not call your number once it
has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you
can file a complaint at this Website. You can register
your home or mobile phone for free. Your registration
will be effective for five years.

To protect your phone information for free, go to

More Resources for Identity Theft Secrets

This listing is periodically updated with other sources we've reviewed:

Equifax Credit Watch Gold™

TrueCredit by Trans Union

Free Annual Credit Report

How to Get a Free Credit Report
from the 3 Major Credit Bureaus

(2 min. video opens in new browser window)

Check back regularly via your subscription options for updates.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Initial Post

Hello world!

Today the IdTheftSecrets blog was born.

The purpose of this blog is to simply provide
consumers easy and cost effective ways to avoid
the expense, lengthy time, & frustration when their
personal Identity Theft is exposed.

In the coming days, you can expect more content
focused on "how to" tips to protect your credit identity
and preventing personal information from being exposed.

In the interim, I recommend for you to check out this reference
for a complete identity theft prevention kit:

Most consumers find out, using this kit, they may already have
a "hidden" identity theft problem which requires immediate
and corrective action.

Discover the Shocking Truth to Preventing Identity Theft!

Id Theft Secrets:Tips to Prevent & Protect