Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday #27- Potect Yourself From Identity Theft

Make Today Matter...

  • 8.4 million adults are victims of identity fraud annually.
  • Over $50 billion is stolen from victims of identity theft every year.
  • $5,720 is the average fraud amount per victim.
  • 25 hours per victim is the average time required to resolve identity theft and its consequences.
  • $6,270 is the average amount lost by people ages 25-34, the group that experiences the highest rate of identity fraud at 5.4%.
  • 63% of identity information is obtained through traditional methods, such as lost or stolen wallets; misappropriation by family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors; and stolen mail or trash.
Take action today!
  1. Use a paper shredder for important documents like credit applications, credit offers, insurance forms, physician statements, and expired charge cards.
  2. Deposit outgoing mail in collection boxes located inside the post office.
  3. Promptly remove mail from your home or business mailbox.
  4. Don't carry your Social Security card with you.
  5. Keep personal information in a safe and secure location at home.
  6. Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you've initiated the contact or are sure you know with whom you are dealing.
  7. Create passwords that are random combinations of numbers, symbols, and both upper- and lower-case letters.
  8. Order a free copy of your credit report every 12 months.
  9. Check your online bank statement on a regular basis.
You matter!
When someone steals your name, social security number, and credit, they steal you!

Victims of identity theft may lose job opportunities, be refused loans for housing, cars, and education, and even get arrested for crimes they didn't commit. Taking simple measures to protect yourself can save you time, money, credit damage, frustration, anger, and possibly humiliation. 

You protect your personal belongings, why not protect your identity?

(Adapted from Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza)

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