Goodnight Kiss -- IDENTITY THEFT
Read this and make a copy for your files in case you (unhappily) need to refer to it some day.
SIX PREVENTIONS for IDENTITY THEFT
We've all heard horror stories
about fraud that's committed on us in
stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards, etc.
Unfortunately I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my wallet was
stolen last month.
Within a week, the thieve(s) ordered an expensive monthly cell phone
package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a
Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record
information online, and more.
But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this
happens to you or someone you know:
IMMEDIATE REMEDIES for IDENTITY THEFT
three national credit reporting organizations immediately
a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. I had never heard of
doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for
credit was made over the Internet in my name.
The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information
was stolen and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.
By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all
the damage had been done.
There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves'
purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then,
no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away
this weekend.(someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them in their
The numbers are:
We pass along
jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about everything.
Pass this information along. It could really help someone you care about
IDENTITY THEFT IS A HORRORSHOW! PROTECT YOURSELF!
(C) 2004 Janet Fisher, no reprints without written permission.