Tag Archives: debt

How To Combat Debt Incurred Through Identity Theft?

Identity theft has always been deceptive, tough to spot and hinders the spread of technology.

Whenever you store more information online, the chances of identity theft increase as criminals get wider access to steal your private information. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), each year nine million American’ identities are stolen, which results in $631 off out-of-pocket expenses for the victim.

Often, it takes years to realize that you are a victim of identity fraud and similar time to recover your credit worthiness. And often, victims of identity fraud/identity theft have debts that aren’t theirs, but they don’t know how to prove it.

As a result, victims use debt consolidation or bankruptcy to get out of the situation without knowing what they are (and/or are not) liable for any fraudulent debt resulting from identity theft.

Preventing and Detecting Identity Theft

Before you know how to get rid of your fraudulent debt without paying the same, you should know how to prevent identity theft first:

  • Always tear up your financial documents.
  • Sign the reverse of your credit cards immediately (or better yet, write SEE ID in the signature field and on the front of the card in magic marker), so that an aware clerk will at least think to check your ID.  This doesn’t always work, but sometimes helps.
  • Leave your social security number and card at home in a safe place.
  • Keep your personal information personal by only sharing it on an as-needed basis (may not help as there are many examples where trusted people are selling information).
  • Be careful of links in unsolicited emails.  There are multitudes of anti-fraud and anti-phishing toolbars and software.  Pick one and run it on your computer.  We like Spybot and AVG.
  • Use lengthy passwords that are hard to figure out. Substituting O for @ or s for $ is a good trick in a password.
  • Always report theft or loss of any identification material (passport, license, etc).  The value of this is that at least you have a police report to show that your information was lost/stolen.
  • Always scrutinize your bank or credit card statements carefully.

Obtain and review the free copy of you annual credit report. To order a free copy of your annual credit report, go to AnnualCreditReport.com or call toll-free to 877-322-8228. Otherwise, you can also contact other credit report vendors (like Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion).

Stopping Identity Theft and Fraudulent Debt

Once you realize that you have fallen victim to identity fraud, immediately file a “Fraud Alert” on your credit report and review your reports carefully. This will further help your creditors to take advanced security measures. If you file a fraud alert, you will also get a free copy of your credit report.

Once you have filed a fraud alert, you should do the following:

  • Request the consumer reporting companies to block fraudulent information.
  • Contact the security and fraud departments of the companies where an account was created without your awareness.
  • Send the companies copies of supporting documents, including the affidavit of identity theft.
  • Ask if the account has been resolved and fraudulent debts discharged.
  • Complaint in detail to the police.
  • Report the fraud to the FTC.

Fortunately, the FTC has a very useful “tools for victims” site, which provides directions, sample letters, and further a chart that you can print and fill out to know what you’ve done and what steps are still left.

IdentityTheftSecrets note:
This is a guest post, and as such is filled with a lot of re-hashed information we have covered on this site for the last 6 years.  However, a reminder is always a good thing.

Credit Cards: Avoid at all Cost? A Necessary Evil? Or A Helpful Tool?

Credit cards are fairly easy to obtain. Identity thieves have proven that time and time again. They are also pretty easy to use which can either be a convenient short cut or a road to long-term debt. Let’s look at the good, the rewards, the bad and the really ugly about credit cards.

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Saving Money Each Month: Money Saving Tips That Work

Our holiday shopping spree is rapidly coming to an end with just days left before Christmas arrives. New Year’s Eve is right around the corner and with it all our debts and bills from the holiday season will be coming home to “nest” and you need to find ways to save money to pay money. Or maybe you just want to make saving money each month your New Year’s Eve resolution. Whatever the reason, these monthly money saving tips will help!

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Paying Off Credit Card Debt: Minimum Payments Maximize Debt

If nothing else, the recent financial crisis has opened our eyes to the dangers of excessive credit card debt. Many consumers have long considered credit card debt part of life but when unemployment rises and foreclosures are festering, credit card debt seems like a nasty and preventable sore. Now many of us are wondering how we can quickly pay off our debt and save for our future. Try these paying off credit card debt tips.

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Winning Tips for Saving Money & Stretching Your Paycheck That Can Work for You

Most people are doing all they can to bring in as much money as possible, and with these 5ive tips to help you get more “bang” for your buck you can find ways to make your paycheck go just a little bit further and pay off debt.

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Taking Out a Mortgage Loan? Think about Lifestyle verses House with Mortgage Loan Debt

A bank or mortgage lender will help you determine a number for your loan affordability. Many are hoping for that number to as high as possible. But really, is this number a safe and comfortable amount of mortgage loan debt for you?

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Identity Theft – It’s all in the Family

How hard must it be to turn your own daughter over to the police? Well I, for one, want to salute this mother. Pamela Blais turned in her own daughter for Identity Theft.
Her daughter, Ryanne Blais, took out not one, not two, but THREE credit cards in her mother’s name, racking up a total bill of over $15,000 in credit card debt.
The daughter’s response when she was caught, according to this article, was that she thought the whole situation would “just take care of itself”.

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