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,
CA.

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
addresses.

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
occurs.

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.

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