Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Six Quick Identity Theft Indicators to Watch

"According to a convicted ID thief in Denver, CO, "On
a good day I could make $5,000 in cash and another
$7,000 - $8,000 in merchandise..."
-CBSnews.com

"In one notorious case of identity theft, the US
Department of Justice reported that the criminal
incurred over $100,000 of credit card debt, obtained a
federal home loan, and bought homes, motorcycles, and
hand guns in the victim's name all the while calling
his victim to taunt him."
-US Department of Justice Web site

Want to learn how to quickly recognize when an
identity thief is at work?

Here's the 6 quick indicators to be on the watch for:

  1. Unexpected phone calls from creditors.
    If you get a call from a creditor demanding payment
    for a purchase no one in your family can account for
    have the caller give you all the information possible
    and investigate.
  2. Strange credit card charges.
    It’s easier to spot these if you keep all your
    receipts and reconcile them with your statements
    each month.
  3. Getting turned down for credit unexpectedly.
    This is one of the more common ways victims discover
    they’'ve been victimized – don'’t be one of them.
    Subscribe to a service that will provide you with a
    copy of one of your credit reports and FICO scores on
    a regular basis.
  4. Account usernames and passwords or ATM PINs stop
    working.
    This suggests that an identity thief may have changed
    your access codes.
  5. Missing bills.
    If you’'re used to getting billed for services you
    subscribe to and the bills stop arriving, it could
    mean an identity thief has changed your address
    in order to use bank accounts without raising
    suspicion.
  6. Strange information in your files.
    If information in a personal file definitely does not
    match up with you, it could be simply a case of mistaken
    identity or it could be more than an innocent mistake. One
    way to help avoid mistaken identity problems is to use
    your middle name or middle initial on applications to help
    distinguish you from others who have the same name.

You may recall in an post earlier this month, one of
our editors was successful in discovering a convicted
felon with a history of violent assaults and bankruptcy
shared his first and last name. Our editor now makes
sure to sign with the middle initial and stresses his address
history being completely different than that convicted
felon. Plus, he checks his public records profile frequently.

Stay tuned for our next upcoming post as we will back
up even further in the process of a typical identity
theft, so that you can have an added edge in your
fight to protect your personal identity from SSN fraud.

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