Identity Theft

You applied for a new car loan only to find out that you have been denied…but why you ask? I have excellent credit – no late payments, no charges-offs, so why was I denied? The lender begins going over the accounts reported on your credit report – when you realize there are accounts that are not yours…somebody has stolen your identity. You dispute the credit reports, cancel all your credit cards but still want to know who did this to you!

Identity theft is terrifying! It’s frightening to think that someone is “out there” pretending to be you, racking up bills in your name, committing crimes or worse. It’s enough to make you lose sleep even before it happens and the reality after the fact can be equally frightening. Just think about how much information you put out on FaceBook and other social media outlets… very easy for a predator to take advantage of this information. And these days prospective employers check credit, too, so there is no time to waste in identifying a potential problem!

Small business owners think about this… an employee that you’ve hired is actually an illegal alien hiding under another citizen’s name and using their vital information – social security number, etc. Or worse yet, a possible employee has stolen a social security number from a deceased person and you never know it until the authorities come knocking on your door asking questions about your employee.

Here are some of the tools that the “bad guys” use to uncover your personal information:

1) Dumpster Diving – don’t put any vital information that has your social security number, date of birth or full name on any paperwork before first thoroughly shredding it;

2) Viruses and Trojan Horses – If you don’t know the person that’s sending you the email or if the subject line does not have a reference in it, then do not open the email;

3)Look alike websites – Look alike websites are familiar websites known to the victim that ask the victim to update his or her information, also known as phishing. Here’s an example: A “bad guy” imitates and creates a website that looks exactly like your bank, sending you an official email. You click on the email, you update the information, send it back to them and then the “bad guy” has all of your personal information to do as they wish. That is why it’s very important that you shred even the smallest tidbit of information.

 

Here are some “tricks of the trade” to help stop identity theft:

1. Avoid carrying more than one credit card, but, if you do carry a credit card carry it in a RFID sleeve – an RFID sleeve is a protective item made out of deflective material which prevents would be thieves from obtaining your personal / financial information from the RFID chip in your credit card [sold at www.MetroSpySupply.com];

2. Never carry your social security card or passport with you unless absolutely needed;

3. Never print your social security card or date of birth on checks;

4. Instead of signing the back of your credit card, write See Photo ID;

5. Never put sensitive pieces of mail in your mailbox, put them directly into an official postal service collection box.

If your identity is compromised we are here to assist you in finding the person who committed this crime so you can prosecute them to the fullest degree of the letter of the law. Often times, law enforcement is overloaded and cannot get to your case as quickly as you would like. This is where professionals like us can assist law enforcement and help continue the efforts to solve this very personal crime that could destroy your life for years to come!