All posts by Jonathan

Identity Theft Is Accelerating With The Help Of Information Sharing

With the convenience of paying by credit card via the Internet, identity theft has become a major concern in the digital world.

[You already know this, because we cover that point a LOT on this site.]

There are now more methods used now than ever for storing, collecting, sharing, and sometimes stealing your personal details. You share your personal information to be evaluated for any loan, credit card, life insurance policy, mortgage or apartment. Your personal information is often shared just to apply for a job.

Keeping an Eye on Your Personal Details

It’s more important than ever to be vigilant about the process of your information being shared, and be discriminating in terms of who or what organizations you share your personal information with.

If you aren’t careful, and sadly, sometimes even if you are careful, you could become a victim of identity theft. In addition to being more vigilant, more and more people are turning to identity theft protection services like LifeLock to help provide added piece of mind. Many services will monitor your credit around the clock, offering identity theft protection 24/7.

Fraud at the IRS

A recent story reported that there was an identity thief within the hallowed ranks of the IRS. Domeen Flowers, a 48 year old (former) employee of the IRS, allegedly stole a number of tax payer’s identities directly from IRS databases and then used them to fraudulently apply for lines of credit for herself.

Flowers was hired as a mail clerk in 2007 in a Philadelphia IRS branch, but allegedly stole the taxpayer identities after she transferred to an IRS branch in Maitland, FL. She also allegedly fraudulently acquired the identity of her landlord in Philadelphia by faxing the landlord a letter on IRS letterhead, demanding personal details. She then used the information gathered to apply for credit cards for herself. Flowers will face up to 46 years in prison and up to $1.25 million in fines if convicted.

Warning Signs That You May be a Victim of Identity Theft

If IRS agents can’t even be trusted, how can you protect yourself? Start by watching for red flags. Here are five of the warning signs you might be a victim of identity theft:

– Unknown charges start to appear on your debit or credit card statements

– You suddenly receive credit card declines when you know you have plenty of available balance

– Merchandise you didn’t order is delivered to your address

– You stop receiving monthly billing statements in the mail

– You start receiving calls from debt collectors when you have no known debts

Besides watching for these signs of identity theft, you’ll want to pay attention to all the signs of fraud. This will provide tremendous piece of mind as you navigate through the pitfalls of this digital world we live in.

With the growth of the Internet and the acceleration of technology, there is definitely much to enjoy and appreciate about this fast-paced world we live in.

However, a measure of caution goes a long way in balancing the hazards of technology with all of its gifts.

Keeping Your Identity Safe, in a Safe

When was the last time you heard or saw any kind of Identity Theft advertising?

Chances are… very recently.

Be it from AM Radio, TV, or the Internet, these days identity theft protection ads are everywhere.

It makes sense.

After all, there is a huge need for ID Theft prevention, and there are a myriad of products that can help.An old safe in a museum

But among this bombardment of information competing for your “low monthly fee” to protect you from digital theft, it is often forgotten that sometimes
you are most vulnerable in your own back yard.

The question we’d like you to consider today is, how are you protecting the physical version of your documents and records from falling into the wrong hands?

Where in your home are your private and personal documents? Are you protecting them at all?

Passports, social security cards, insurance documents, medical records, USB drives, your laptop or iPad, and what about your children’s birth certificates?

The list of important documents goes on and on.

The answer for how to protect this sensitive information is very simple.

You should probably keep all of them in a safe.

There are three basic recommendations I would make to anyone getting started with a safe for burglar and identity protection:

  1. Make sure the safe has at least an RSC UL rating classification.
    This classification means the sage has been tested for prying and torching attacks for a period of 5 minutes.
    5 Minutes is the minimum burglary classification UL assigns.
  2. Bolt the safe down to the floor.  If you don’t do it, and the safe weighs less than 300 Lbs, it will very probably be taken out of your property. On the contrary, if you do bolt it down, it is almost impossible to steal.
  3. Place the safe somewhere as hidden as you can. If the burglars see it, they might attempt to open it (if they have the time while burglarizing your house) but if they don’t see it, they might not even look for a safe.

Fire concerns

The threat from fire is as real as Continue reading Keeping Your Identity Safe, in a Safe

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