Friday, December 09, 2005

Identity Theft Protection from Utility Fraud

With the record cold spell which has descended on
parts of the U.S. this week, this latest story is even
more appalling than most. It seems a Fort Worth, TX
man learned the "cold" truth of just how identity
theft can strike.

This past Friday, Beau Black, only learned he
was the victim of identity theft when his power
went off in his home. Evidently, an identity thief
had stolen his identity and called the local electric
utility company to request his power be shut off.

Fortunately, Mr. Block was not the only victim of this
scam and phone call to the power utility resulted in
his power being turned back on before the effect of
winter's chill took effect.

However, according to the story reported by the local
CBS news affiliate, Mr. Black had not previously taken
advantage of an enhanced security option available
from the utility company. That program offers to all
TXU customers, a unique and special identification
password (other than SSN) option.

So, our tip for today is to contact all of your local
utilities and request for non social security number
(SSN) password protection for your account access.
Additionally, explore with the utility company if they
provide wireless or email alerts anytime your account
balance or address is changed.

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