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Tag Archives: Identity Theft

Savvy Consumer Tip: Protecting Your Child from Identity Theft

Take precautionary measures to protect your child from identity theft.

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Stop Thieves: Be Careful What You Discard

I will be the first to admit that I have never thought twice about throwing any and all pre-approved credit card solicitations into the trash. David Rhoads, Vice President of SureShred, a Diamond Certified company, warns against being so careless. He says that identity thieves can easily take these offers from the garbage, change the return address, sign it and get a credit card in your name.

This can be just the beginning of your troubles. Once you put something in the trash, it is considered public property and anyone can sift through it. Besides pre-approved credit card ads, you should also destroy credit card and bank statements, driver's license renewal forms, hospital bills, old tax returns, and anything that has your social security number on it.

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Lock Out ID Thieves and Hackers

The passwords to your computer and online accounts are like the keys to your safe deposit box. In the wrong hands, they can be used to steal your money and your identity. Strong passwords – those that are virtually impossible to recreate, even using a special decoder program – will keep your assets and information safe and secure.

A strong password is one that appears to be a random string of characters, including letters, numbers and symbols. The longer your password is, the harder it is to decipher. When creating a password, don’t use personal information such as your birth date or dog’s name. Don’t use real words. Do consider creating a password derived from a “passphrase” that is easy for you to remember. For example, “My favorite number is 13” could be converted to MfaV#=13!. And use a different password for each account to avoid having all your accounts at risk if one password is compromised.

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Job Seekers – Look Out for this Scam

The scammer places a help-wanted ad at a popular job-search site offering a work-at-home job. You fill out an employment application that asks for a Social Security number and your date of birth. Then you're told you got the job! Packages arrive at your home with directions to repackage the items and ship them overseas, using your own money which will be repaid. The original packages were paid for with fraudulent credit cards, something you don't find out until later. Next, you're told that you will be paid by cashier's check. But here's the catch. The check will be written for more than the amount owed. You deposit the check and forward the difference to the company's overseas bank account. Eventually, the cashier's check bounces — and you owe the bank the amount of the check. The kicker is — the ordeal is not over yet. The fraudulent employer has your birth date and SSN. They have applied for several credit cards in your name and use them to buy merchandise that is being shipped to other unknowing victims of the scam. If you think you may be involved in reshipping fraud, contact the FBI @ www.fbi.gov.

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