Have you ever received a letter in the mail from a store, service or bank that warned you that their security measures had been breached but they are sure that your information remained safe and secure? Did you take their word for it? Or maybe you did a cursory search of your credit or debit card statement immediately after receiving it just to make sure there were no unnecessary chargers. Checking for charges is good, but setting up a credit fraud alert may be even better, if not safer.
What is a credit fraud alert? A credit fraud alert can be set initially for 90 days. By providing a telephone number, during that time whenever someone tries to open a new account in your name or extend the credit limit to existing accounts you will be contacted. Don’t worry though, because you can put a code on the account which will lift the alert for legitimate requests that you, a business or a bank is making on your behalf. Extended alerts as well as alerts specifically designed for active duty military.
Extended alerts are recommended in the event that you have been a victim of identity theft or fraud. Those may last up to 7 years. You may also request an additional free credit report when placing an alert on your credit, with access to one free for the 90 alerts and two free available to you for the extended alerts.
Although they are crafted to last for 90 days to 7 years, you can modify or lift your alert prior to the scheduled end date.
Once your receive your credit reports be sure to look for:
- accounts you did not apply for or open
- information about current accounts that is incorrect (such as change of address or balance)
- unexplained outstanding balances, and;
- incorrect factual information such as your Social Security Number, names, address or employer.
You can place a credit fraud alert on your credit report by Continue reading When, where, why and how: Credit fraud alerts
Did you know there are legal steps you can take to prevent being taken advantage of by unscrupulous debt collectors, marketers, or thieves? The following are five proactive suggestions:
You can remove yourself from unsolicited advertising fax lists. There is a federal law, called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, codified at 47 USCS § 227 (2001).
It includes “telephone communications,” “telephone facsimile,” and “unsolicited advertisement” amongst its offenders.
Federal law, and many states’ laws, permit an action to Continue reading Five Easy, Free and Legal Consumer Protection Tips
There is much to deal with after the passing of a family member, the last thing you think you would have to do is deal with credit applications. But that is just what this family had to do, as their deceased family member’s identity was stolen and used to apply for AMEX and BestBuy among other credit cards.
Continue reading Grieving Families Suffer Further as Identity Thieves Target the Recently Deceased
According to the Federal Trade Commission, about 15% of identity theft cases involve new account fraud. If at risk consumers can put a freeze on their credit, they can make it very difficult for would be identity thieves to open new accounts in using their identity. FInd out about a new law in Georgia and what it does about identity theft.
Continue reading Georgia’s Credit Freeze is No Breeze
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For about 33 cents or less a day, IdentityTruth can offer you 12 points of protection from identity theft. IdentityTruth’s protection is show to be so comprehensive that they back it with a guarantee. Read more to find out what protections Identity Truth offers and what IdentityTruth says about how it can protect you from identity theft.
The majority of people think their identity is safe, but studies reveal that 85% of consumers are victims of identity theft. Most people believe that they are taking the appropriate steps necessary to protect their identities; for example using practices like shredding pre-approved credit card offers and installing antivirus or spyware protection on their computer however these practices may not be enough. Last year 13 million consumer identities were compromised. A 2006 report from the FTC shows that out of $5 billion in identity fraud, only 25% involved credit card fraud and only 12% involved new account credit card fraud. That still leaves several other ways that your identity can be used illegally, such as obtaining a job, being charged with a crime, mortgage fraud and many other types of identity theft.
Continue reading IdentityTruth: Is Your Identity the “Truth” and Nothing but the Truth?
Identity theft (otherwise known in many countries as identity fraud) is prevalent in many other countries. US citizens are not the only ones affected. Read more to find out information on how identity theft occurs in other countries, including the United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada and Australia.
Continue reading Identity Theft Around the World
I recently conducted an interview with Scott Mitic, CEO and co-founder of TrustedID, a company promoting a new kind of service in proactive identity protection.
You can listen to the audio below. I had some real challenges with the audio code on this interview, so if it’s hard to understand, I’ve posted the transcript below as well.
Identity Theft Secrets: This is Jonathan Kraft with Identity Theft Secrets and I am here today interviewing Scott Mitic, who is the CEO and co-founder of TrustedID. How are you doing today Scott?
TrustedID: I’m great thanks Jonathan, how are you?
Identity Theft Secrets: I’m doing great! Thank you very much for taking a few minutes with us today. Well, let’s just get started right into this. Can you review for me, the background behind TrustedID? What started it, who started it and why was TrustedID started?
TrustedID: Well I started the company about three years ago with a co-founder and it jettisoned into a business in finding ways for consumers to be able to proactively prevent Identity Theft. I had a wife who was victimized twice in the course of about three years and while looking at the experience she had, I realized there was really no effective solution available to anyone in the U.S. to help stop identity theft before it starts. And that’s what started TrustedID.
Identity Theft Secrets: And I know you’ve got a partner in the business as well.
TrustedID: I do; I co-founded the company with Omar Ahmad, who’s also on our board now.
Identity Theft Secrets: Talk a little bit more about, you said your wife actually was a victim twice, can you explain kind of what happened with her identity theft and how that took place?
TrustedID: Well, the first time was someone in the state of Florida who assumed her identity; committed crimes in her name and also got credit in her name. Someone printed checks using my wife’s name and her account number and passed bad checks. So as is the case very often with identity theft, the financial loss that we incurred, that she incurred, not nearly as significant as the time loss that was incurred. Everything from standing at the police station waiting for an officer to show up to take your report down to trying to track down what credit was opened in her name and then finding a way to convince the lender, or creditor, that that was actually not her debt, but that of a felon that she had never met.
Identity Theft Secrets: Which I imagine that process is very difficult. I know from having talked with a bunch of people; they’ve had some real challenges trying to prove that they’re not themselves.
TrustedID: Exactly. And I think that’s only going to intensify over the course of the coming months or years; as the credit crunch comes upon us, there are more and more people looking for perhaps easy ways to get out of their debt. You can understand a lender being somewhat skeptical when a customer calls and says, “you know what? That’s really not me;” when you’ve got that card. So it’s a natural reaction of that same lender to think twice and to require a little extra proof before they accept it’s the work of an identity thief.
Identity Theft Secrets: And you said before that you didn’t really see anything after looking for ways to help your wife. You didn’t really see anything in the market that was there to proactively prevent identity theft and I think that’s part of the reason you started TrustedID. What does proactive identity theft prevention mean and how do you do that?
Continue reading Trusted ID Interview and Promotional Code Coupon
Veteran’s are at high risk for identity theft, and have more to lose. It is important for veteran’s to carefully monitor their credit report, social security benefits and veterans benefit information to determine if their identity is being used in any manner, from illegally obtaining credit or medical care to attending a college.
Continue reading Veterans: What You Should Know to Prevent and Recover from Identity Theft
TrustedID is a credit monitoring service that does online and TV/Radio promotions around their guarantee to provide one million dollars of identity theft insurance, the ability to limit who sees your credit report, review who has seen your credit report (i.e. is it being reviewed by people you trust), and it also gives you free search engine searches, to determine if your social security number has been compromised. If you would like to have these protections, you may want to take a look at TrustedID, which markets themselves as a different kind of consumer credit protection service.
TrustedID is one of many credit monitoring, identity theft protection companies available to consumers that is available independently and not through one of the three major credit reporting agencies of TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax. It is located in Redwood City, CA and you may visit their website or call 1.888.548.7878 for additional information regarding their company.
TrustedID’s credit monitoring service has been featured in such publications as Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek. Its services have also been featured online at CNNMoney.com and CNBC. It is recognized by the Identity Theft Resource Center.
Continue reading Do You Have “TrustedID” Service? TrustedID Review And Promo Code
Equifax Inc. is most often recognized as being one of the top three consumer credit reporting agencies, including Experian and TransUnion.
Equifax was founded in 1899 as Retail Credit Company and is the oldest of the three agencies. By 1920 it had offices in the United States and Canada and by the 1960’s protected millions of credit histories. It has now been in business for 107 years providing consumer and business services. In 1975 it changed its name to Equifax. It is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as EFX, and is a Standard and Poor’s (S&P) 500 company. Although its corporate headquarters is Atlanta, Georgia, it employs 4,600 people worldwide in 13 countries and reports $1.4 billion in revenue.
During the 1960’s and 1970’s, Equifax came under criticism for the extensive nature of information that it was obtaining about consumers. This included information about an individual and other private parts of a person’s life like marital status, employment, sex life and political affiliation. Much of the criticism was due to not only the extensive nature of the information, but the methods by which it was obtained, and their willingness to “sell” the information.
Continue reading Equifax: What You Should Know About Equifax And 3-in-1 Credit Monitoring Services