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SURPRISE! Your Identity May Have Already Been Stolen
Posted By Ron On October 22, 2008 @ 12:01 AM In Credit,Debt,Life,Money | Comments Disabled
Just the simple act of living a normal life puts you at risk for identity theft. Everywhere you go, you carry personal information with you and leave little bits and pieces of that personal information behind in credit applications, in insurance records, in doctor’s offices, in your trash, in your mailbox, even in the check you wrote to buy groceries yesterday. Eternal vigilance  for your credit report is critical. Check your credit reports often! Once per year  may not be enough.
A growing number of Americans have had their personal information stolen  and used to open fraudulent bank, credit card  or utility accounts or used to commit other types of financial crimes. Today, there are online auctions for your identity  so it pays to be wary at all times. One type of identity theft crime that amazed me was using your personal information to obtain health care!
Most victims of identity theft normally do not know they have been a victim until:
Although any of these items could be a result of simple human error, you shouldn’t assume that there has been a mistake and do nothing. Always follow up with the business or institution in question to find out how the error occurred. How it occurred may indicate what happened!
If you find that you’re a victim of ID theft, ACT immediately! Report the crime to the police. Call your bank and credit card  issuers. Contact the fraud units of the three credit reporting companies. Request that a “fraud alert” be placed in your file, as well as a victim’s statement asking that creditors call you before opening any new accounts or changing your existing accounts. You might also consider using a credit freeze  to thwart those thieves.
Identity theft is real. It is growing. According to the Federal Trade Commission , as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. That number is growing, too.
You can survive identity theft. I did. The process is long and arduous but it is survivable! Now I have someone looking out for my identity  and I am really, REALLY glad.
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URLs in this post:
 Tweet: https://twitter.com/share
 Eternal vigilance: http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2864384-10431593
 Once per year: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp
 Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45936582@N00/2945717204/
 personal information stolen: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/94-million-more-reasons-to-monitor-your-identity
 credit card: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/credit-card-information/
 online auctions for your identity: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/your-identity-for-sale
 This happened to ME!: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/my-identity-was-stolen/
 bank account: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/go/bank-account.php/
 collection agency: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/10-debt-collection-donts/
 cell phone services: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/danger-cell-phone-hackers-are-after-your-identity-too/
 credit freeze: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/credit-freeze/
 credit calendar: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/build-good-credit-habits/
 Federal Trade Commission: http://ftc.gov/
 looking out for my identity: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/monitor-credit/
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