Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Identity Theft Prevention Tips Most Americans Don't Know

Half of America believes they are unlikely to
become identity theft victims, while even more
(70 percent) would take precautions if aware of
what to do.


Identity-Theft-Prevention-Tips-Most-Americans-Don't-Know-audio-post - click to play

These results were recently released from an
Experian, a leading credit bureau, survey
focused on consumer attitudes towards credit
fraud and identity theft.

Surprisingly, 1/3rd of Americans believe there
is "nothing they can do" to prevent identity
theft.

"It won't happen to me"

Think so. Then check out these facts revealed
by the survey:
  • 63% had unauthorized purchases against their credit card
  • 55% reported had money withdrawn from their checking account
  • 39% experienced unauthorized account openings or fraud transactions
  • 22% claimed someone obtained a new credit card in their name
  • 9% reported someone opened a new bank account in their name
Identity theft victims will spend months, if not years, plus
thousands of dollars attempting to restore a damaged credit
record. In the meantime, you can be refused new loans, job
opportunities or worse as in the case of false arrest.

This is why it's much easier to put a much smaller amount
of energy and financial resources in knowing how identity
theft criminals operate and even better still - how to
increase your odds of preventing identity theft from
even
happening to you.

So, our tip for today is to practice safe credit usage.
Enroll in a quality credit and bank account monitoring
service. Plus, now is a great time to get your medical
insurance file and public records profiles checked out
before the holiday season begins.

Remember, identity thieves know this is one of the easiest
times of the year for them to rip you off and to have the
evidence of their crimes be simply lost within the clutter
of holiday shopping fueled by far too available "instant"
credit from retailers eager to make sales.

5 Comments:

At 6:08 AM, Anonymous Nathank said...

I don't blame those 70%. Accepting that we could one day be victims is a tough task because once we realize what is at stake, the "uh oh" factor kicks in and we panic. Banks and other financial sources need to start advertising more ways for their customers to protect themselves so instead of consumers blindly looking for "something" to protect their financial lives, they can have some sense of direction and know what needs to be done.

People are going to remain skeptical about leaving that 70% because knowing that it could happen to them is a very scary idea.

 
At 9:57 AM, Blogger agent99 said...

We totally agree!

However, please understand banks & other financial institutions primary reason for existance is to make money - lots of money for their shareholders.

So, in many ways banks feel justified they can only do but so much and that consumers need to also hold some degree of personal responsibility to protect themselves from forces directly outside the control of financial institutions.

However, where we take issue with that belief (by financial institutions) is in the areas of insider security breaches and/or loose data protection standards with their marketing partners who do not directly opt in to protect your data.

The bottom line is, that our belief is you must do everything within your power (there are many, many weapons available) to minimize your exposure and prevent identity theft criminals (or corporate bunglers) from finding you an easy and readily available potential victim.

What really drove this home for one of our editors was when she ordered her reports and was shocked to find well over 100 pages of history detailing the last 25 years of her life (most of which is publicly available to anyone).

By periodically inspecting that information, even for accounting errors, you can make a huge difference in your identity theft potential.

By the way, most consumers may not know this but there are well over 1,400 unique pieces of information on their credit profile alone.

That's not even counting your public information profile, medical insurance, marketing databases, & debit burea profiles.

 
At 10:08 AM, Anonymous DiEdra Stinson said...

I have to wonder just how much people really would do if they knew what to do to protect their identities or at the least minimize their risk. It looks as if they want someone else to take all the responsibility.

For over 3 years now, the leading risk management corporation in the entire world - KROLL WORLDWIDE - has offered the most comprehensive coverage I've ever come across. It's the coverage I and my family have.

They do more than 24/7/365 monitoring of ALL the national databases holding our information, but they notify us daily upon seeing suspicious stuff going on.

For instance, recently a friend who has the same coverage, was buying a car. While the dealership accessed his credit report and he waited in the office, his cell phone rang. It was Kroll telling him what was happening and wanted to know if it was actually HIM trying to buy a car at that dealership.

They monitor 5 areas of my ID, medical info, social security number, drivers license, character or criminal, and my credit. Anything suspicious in any of those areas, I get a phone call to let me know and verify if it was me or not. My bank and credit card companies only care about the money or credit part of my identity - just like you said - their business is MONEY.

And I think the most important and money & time-saving aspect of their service is they will RESTORE our identites FOR us once it has happened. I really love that part of their service. I don't have to run all over the place making police reports, filling out fraud packets I don't understand or have time for. And I don't have to take time off work & lose money out of my paycheck to do anything I would have to do myself if I didn't have KROLL.

And the price is great given everything they do. I pay $9.95 a month no matter haow much they have to do for me. But if I wanted to hire these real professionals (KROLL) and didn't have their special plan, I would have to pay $1495.00 per incident. Yikes!! They'd be worth that much, but who the heck could afford it besides the big banking institutions & the government whom they also service.

I'll take the $9.95, thank you.
But even after knowing all that, most people still don't do anything to protect themselves.

Anyway, I tend to talk alot, so I'll sign off here.

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger agent99 said...

DiEdra Stinson commented(excerpt)...

"Anything suspicious in any of those areas, I get a phone call to let me know and verify if it was me or not."

"I don't have to run all over the place making police reports, filling out fraud packets I don't understand or have time for. And I don't have to take time off work".
------------------------------------

We heartily support consumers taking preventitive action against identity theft and certainly support victim's rights - especially in mitigating the damages from an identity theft incident.

We decided to publish this comment for the value of it's personal testimonial to the impact identity theft can have on many of us (we were identity theft victims in 2001) if we do not have any protection services working for us.

(To all our valued readers and subscribers, the commentor's remarks do not equate to any commercial endorsement for Kroll & Associates nor their marketing partners such as Pre-Paid Legal).

 
At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ID theft should not even be a problem, Theres a surefire way to stop it for good. Think of the $ savings!

 

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