Maintain your old Siemens Hipath system

Identity Theft - How to Protect Yourself

"Like the tan? I got tons of sun on that Caribbean cruise. First class tickets to Florida and back! Nope, not an airline upgrade. 5-star service all the way, baby! Hotels, restaurants, theme parks?you name it! Look?I took pics with my new cell phone! Hey, let me know when you're free to take a spin in the car ? it's a 2005 sports model, fully loaded! Yours truly, Chad E. Charlatan, is going to the top! Nope, no job. But I didn't pay for anything myself. I don't care who Ms. Donna Knowe-Bedter is, but it's not my fault if she doesn't keep tabs on her credit card statements. One day I'll thank her for being so rich!"

In a perfect world, everyone is honest, with good intentions.

We don't live in a perfect world.

ID thieves are supreme opportunists. Read the news? Hackers can break into corporate computer systems and steal information on clients and customers. "Skimmers" can be attached to credit card readers, and used to store credit- and bank-card numbers. Identity thieves may pose as employers, landlords or even utility company representatives to get at your personal and financial info. Other thieves may use their employers' authorized access to obtain credit reports or other information. Databases and other records can be stolen from employers; thieves may bribe fellow employees who may have access to important data. They may steal your mail and take credit card offers, tax information and other documents. "Dumpster diving" involves digging through garbage to find information such as bank statements, or credit card information. And there's always the age-old method of simply stealing your wallet or purse.

New ways of stealing your identity pop up frequently. "Phishing" became prominent in 2003 and 2004: well-designed emails and websites convince victims to provide information. Emails look legit, but release any information and the nightmare begins. The cost? Damages now top $1 billion per year. How's that for a nightmare?

Thieves get new phone services, auto loans and credit cards using stolen information. Victims may find their mailing addresses changed, and their credit ruined. ID thieves can file for bankruptcy in the victims' name to escape debt, and drain accounts by counterfeiting checks and debit cards. They can also open bank and credit card accounts using their victims' names.

Your name may be given to the police during an arrest. If the real thief is released, and fails to arrive for a court date, you may be arrested. And out-of-pocket costs to clean up the mess can be staggering.

Be savvy, capiche? Thoughtful planning can prevent the pain of a stolen ID.

* Buy a shredder. Shred documents with your name, personal information such as social security numbers, phone numbers, addresses, birthdates, credit applications, financial documents, and medical and insurance information. Whole documents can be used against you. Confetti can't.

* Get your credit report. Verify it. Manage this tool carefully, and use it for protection. It's worth it.

* Secure your computer against online theft. Your PC is a gateway to private information. NEVER leave an online connection open if you are away from your computer. Use a firewall.

* Change passwords often. Use passwords with numbers and symbols that are easy for you to remember, but hard for someone to figure out.

* Some programs allow the PC to fill out forms automatically. Convenient, but your PC may be hacked for info. Disable this feature.

* Call your credit card companies and make sure there are no surprises on any of your credit cards, then request that restrictions be placed on each card. Example: you can request for no phone charges, or limits on single purchases. Violating these restrictions stops the transaction. Nightmare avoided.

* Mailbox secure? Stealing mail is one of the easiest ways to steal your ID. Get a lockable USPS-approved mailbox.

* Be extremely picky about giving out your Social Security Number. Resist giving out that very personal piece of information. Check the privacy act of 1974. Homework: go to http://www.faqs.org/faqs/privacy/ssn-faq/ on the web for more information.

* Other information, like your mother's maiden name, seems harmless; those items are often used as verification of ID. Don't give it out. Keep yourself to yourself, and stay educated.

Having your ID stolen is a terrible experience, and consumes much time, finance and energy. For your own sake, the sake of your sanity and your safety, set aside a few minutes to follow the advice above. Protect yourself the next time someone says, "?and your name is?.?"

To send comments or to learn more about Scott Pearson's Investment Management services, visit http://www.valueview.net

Scott Pearson is an investment advisor, writer, editor, instructor, and business leader. As President and Chief Investment Officer of Value View Financial Corp., he offers investment management services to a wide variety of clients. His own newsletter, Investor's Value View, is distributed worldwide and provides general money tips and investment advice to readers both internationally, and in the U.S.

In The News:


Warning: simplexml_load_file() [function.simplexml-load-file]: http://feeds.skynews.com/feeds/rss/world.xml:1: parser error : Document is empty in /home/infob/public_html/includes/rss.php on line 2

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/infob/public_html/includes/rss.php on line 9


tikatoshop.it

Erfahrungen mit Pallhuber Wein
Agen Bola SBOBET Terpercaya

Travel in comfort and at your leisure with CT Airlink Limousine & Car Service for top quality private transportation and exceptional customer service. We operate Sedans, SUVs & Vans for CT Car Services to covering all Connecticut airports including Car Service from CT to Newark Airport , Mohegan Casino Uncasville CT, Foxwoods Casino Mashantucket CT, Manhattan Cruise Terminal NYC, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal NYC and Bayonne Cruise Terminal NJ. CT Airlink hire licensed and friendly chauffeurs who have in-depth knowledge of the Areas.

New Law Provides Free Annual Credit Report

As of Thursday, December 1, 2004, one-third of Americans will... Read More

My Credit Card Application Was Rejected! Now What?!?

No doubt, you've probably gotten literally hundreds of credit card... Read More

Choosing The Credit Card That Is Right For You

Credit cards represent an important part of our financial lives.... Read More

How To Start A Second SEPERATE Credit File!

Your personal credit file is separated from those with the... Read More

Choosing a Credit Counseling Company

If you have considered credit counseling as an option to... Read More

Rate Tarts Losing Ability to Cherry Pick

A "rate tart" is someone who switches from one zero... Read More

Have You Checked Your Permanent Record Lately?

As a young student I feared getting bad grades because... Read More

Opting For A Credit Card? Check Out Certain Terms

You've just received a "pre-approved" credit card offer in your... Read More

Student Credit Cards 101

Almost all students have and use student credit cards. Some... Read More

How to Avoid Credit Card Late Fees

Everyone hates late fees and being late will cost you... Read More

Debt Collection Agencies

Debt collection agencies are often a viable option for receiving... Read More

How Can A Qualified Mortgage Consultant Help Boost Your Credit Scores?

Consumers interested in purchasing or refinancing a home will pay... Read More

Collection Agencies: What Do They Do?

Collection agencies are businesses that collect past-due bills and accounts... Read More

A Debt Mentality

While working through my own debt situation, and helping others... Read More

The Exact Action To Take When You Find Errors In Your Credit Report

There are times when you may be turned down for... Read More

Building Your Credit History

Today, credit is an indispensable part of our lives. In... Read More

Finding What is on Your Credit Report

A credit report is basically a file about you kept... Read More

Simplifying Your Search For a New Credit Card

Today, selecting the proper credit card can be a bit... Read More

Learn How to Improve Your Credit Score

Having a damaging credit record can hurt you in many... Read More

Useful Tips on Borrowing Money

Here are some useful tips on borrowing money. Borrowing money... Read More

How To Repair Your Credit Report

A credit report is run on a buyer when he... Read More

Making Sense of Credit Card Fees

In addition to the APR (annual percentage rate) and the... Read More

Credit Report Secrets: Do You Know What They Reveal?

If you've ever applied for a credit card or loan,... Read More

Credit Card Rates - Negotiating Rates with Your Credit Card Company

Ok, let's face it, everybody hates high credit card rates,... Read More

19,178 Identity Theft Victims Per Day - Are You One Of Them?

Identity theft statistics are shocking. And we are told that... Read More