Identity Theft-Protect Yourself!
We have received a number of calls whereby individuals are contacting our clients regarding possible identity theft. It’s a problem that is getting out of control. Everytime I work patrol, I take at least one report because someone has had their identity stolen. Here are some warning signs:
1. Your credit card statement has charges you did not make (carefully check your statements).
2. You get bills for accounts you never opened (duh!).
3. You are denied credit for no apparent reason.
4. Money is missing from you bank account ( and your spouse denies it! Just kidding!!!).
1. Review your credit report and check for accounts that you did not open.
2. Ony carry the credit cards and identification cards that you need and keep them in a safe place.
3. DO NOT respond to e-mail messages or telephone calls asking for personal information.
4. Get a shredder for your home. People will go through your trash!
If your identity is stolen:
1. Get a copy of your credit report and check it for accounts you did not open and balances that are suspiciously high.
2. Contact the major credit reporting agencies and have them put a fraud alert on your report.
3. File a police report and get a copy (usually takes a week).
4. Contact the companies that you did not open an account with and send them a copy of the police report.
5. Keep a record of your calls and records.
The Federal Trade Commission reported that there were 9 million cases of identity theft last year with losses to consumers of more than $5 billion. The simplest kind is credit card fraud, which accounts for over 60% of identity theft.
I would suggest that you pass this information on to your employees. When they end up with an issue, it creates a problem for the employer as well. Taking time off, changing records, and emotional instability all impact the workplace.
These are all good suggestions. The only real thing we can do is to constantly keep on top of all our financial records to try to prevent ID theft before it happens.