How do we do it? How do we NOT fall prey to all the scams, frauds and thievery that goes on all over this global marketplace and in every venue (e.g. Online, Offline, etc.)
What is Identity Theft? Just like the funny commercials depict, it is when someone gains access to our personal and private information like our social security number, our bank account information , credit cards and identifying information like our date of birth, address, etc. Gone are the days when we carried our social security cards because with that information, an unscrupulous character could apply for credit in your name with your information and rack up a slew of debt…all compliments of YOU!
These are scary times, calling for scary measures and anything new and unfamiliar to us is UNCOMFORTABLE! Our normal tendency is to stay within our comfort zones and continue on in a state of denial or with blinders on. Problem is, blinders and denial does not protect us from these thieves. Even with all the new security measures taken to prevent cyber theft, it is still happening at an alarming rate because the hackers and the thieves are always a few steps ahead.
Then there are those who say that they don’t live in an online world and who choose to do everything the old fashion way using cash and offline methods. Well, in the world of fraud, thieves are out angling every platform new and old and again they are several steps ahead of us. When we least expect it and when we least need to have it happen to us…it does!
So what can you do about it without living under a rock? What simple habits can you implement in order to protect yourself from identity theft and other common forms of fraud?
Review your accounts. I am talking about ALL of your accounts, from bank statements, credit card and store card statements and most important…your credit reports. Your personal information can be stolen and used to open new credit, new accounts, new loans and even used to steal your tax refunds by filing fictitious tax returns and you would not even know it for months!
Create strong passwords. It is easy to want to use
and personal information to create your passwords, especially today where we are required to have a gazillion of them. Better to make them all hard and unidentifiable and hit the “Lost Password” button than to make them all the same and easy.
Check your credit reports or setup a monitoring system that notifies you anytime new information hits your credit report. By federal
the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion & Equifax) are required to give you a free credit report at your request each year.
Freeze your credit report. This is
resort but may be something to consider as it will make it very hard for thieves to access and use your information.
There is no way to protect your information 100% so it is always a good idea to do what you can to protect yourself and your information and then to have a backup plan (Identity Theft Protection) in place in case or when it happens.
I offer an array of benefits from creating peace of mind by having your Wills, Trusts and Power of Attorney’s in place for your loved ones to having a secured location to electronically store financial information for them. You gain an easy, done for you program for disputing anything that is erroneous on your credit reports along with the simplicity of monitoring and ID protection. You can choose the whole package within the Protection Plan or take them Al a Carte.
Stop procrastinating and just do it! If you have been procrastinating this long, chances are you will continue to do so. Contact me to select your suite of services and get started today.
Watch the video here or type in your web browser the URL
Make the commitment to start today on taking the actions necessary to protect yourself and your family. Even if it one very small step in the right direction, it is a step and will motivate you to do more.