Friday, July 01, 2005

ID Theft Prevention - Other Crucial Personal Info to Check?

Now that you've checked your credit reports from the
three major credit bureaus for errors and corrected
them, what else should you do to guard against
identity theft?

Because identity thieves mostly use your stolen
personal information to quickly abuse or open new
credit card, cell phone, & checking accounts you can get

Most consumers don't even find out their personal
identity has been abused and they're on one of these
blacklists until one of the following typical
rejections takes place:

  • Payment by check is denied because you've been
    identified as a person who has written "bad" checks

  • Payment by credit card is denied because you've been
    identified as frequent "delinquent" - or worst a
    "collections" account
  • An application to move into a new apartment is denied as
    you've been identified as a person who "skipped"
    paying rent money owed at a previous apartment
  • Attempting to get a new cell phone account is rejected
    since you did not pay several, large outstanding bills

Over the coming weeks, Id Theft Secrets blog will
expose a number of these very obscure, but just as
important (as credit) linked, personal information
repositories which you should verify you have not
become an identity theft victim.

Identity thieves take advantage of today's highly
inter-linked world of consumer information. While
your social security number (SSN) was originally invented
in 1936 for benefits tracking, it has become the
universal consumer identifier to cross reference
multiple disparate databases.

So one of the first areas you can check is the Social
Security Administration (SSA).

You can call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 to verify the
accuracy of the earnings reported on your SSN, and to
request a copy of your Social Security Statement or to
get a replacement SSN card if yours is lost or stolen.