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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

I have been in the mortgage industry for over 20 years.... This year alone - I had to turn down 17 loans due to bad credit caused by Identity Theft... The very sad thing is - the bad credit was not the result of the borrower not paying their bills - it was due to someone gaining access to their personal and/or financial information and destroying their once stellar credit... Unfortunately - this is a common occurrence in today's electronic age...

There are many ways a thief can gain access to our information - Right after ATM/Debit cards came out many many years ago - We received a call from our bank asking if we had been to Mexico recently... We had not... A stranger obtained our ATM card - a card that we had not requested - Nor did we receive... This stranger went down to Mexico - had a few parties at a bar - stayed a few nights at a pretty nice hotel AND bought an airline ticket to Africa!!!! Over $5000 was taken out of our checking account... Needless to say - my husband and I were devastated.. Thankfully - we did recover our money... But it took over two (2) months - which resulted in us paying a few bills late.... We were lucky that is all that happened... Many are not so lucky...

There is a company called IdentityHawk that helps their clients prevent Identity fraud and theft.. They offer a very comprehensive package with identity protection tools to help identify where a person could be vulnerable to thieves... They help detect and protect against threats to your identity.... your assets... your home...

*Recent statistics from Javelin Strategy & Research indicate that more than 11 million American consumers were victimized by identity fraud in 2009, an increase of more than one million people from 2008.. Essentially, one out of every 27 people in this country in 2009 had their personal information used by others to engage in fraudulent transactions or to receive services illegally...

Identity theft protection is the first step in protecting ourselves against Identity fraud... Identity theft occurs when someone obtains your personal information - Identity fraud is when someone uses that obtained personal information to commit fraud by obtaining credit cards (ruining your credit), draining your bank accounts, and many other detrimental things that can destroy your good credit, your good name and possibly cause you legal problems.. Early detection is key to your Identity Safety..

The sooner you can detect and respond to the warning signs of identity theft the better you can protect your assets and your name... Don't take a chance.. Anyone can be the victim of Identity theft - just ask Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, and Warren Buffet. Just ask me......

* Quote from IdentityHawk website

9 comments:

  1. I guess I need to be more careful like my husband. Thanks for this important reminder.

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  2. Always a good reminder thank you!

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  3. this is so scary... and yes, you are right, it can happen to anyone at anytime and can ruin our lives so quickly! i have been fortunate to not have had to experience this... but i will take your advice and be more aware... it is always nice to be reminded. thank you for sharing your story and i'm so sorry you had to go through this...

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  4. Yes and it's easy to become a shredaholic too! :)

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  5. This is really scary. I never even think about this kind of thing. Thanks for the heads-up!

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  6. Great article! I've had identity theft 3 times and it's such a hassle to put the pieces back together! Great blog! Thanks for the comments on mine! I'm definitely following back!

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  7. I do everything to protect my info. When I first moved to Arizona they actually used peoples SS#'s for their driver's license, I made them give me a separate assigned number.

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  8. Great info here. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. How scary! Whenever we get new cards (credit, debit, etc) in the mail, I cut up the old ones and throw the remnants away in several different garbage cans so they can't be put back together. So glad to see you got everything back, but definitely not a hassle you want to deal with in the first place!

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