Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What to Shred

"I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together."
- I am the Walrus, lyrics
Identity Theft is a terrible crime. A person can not just steal all your money, but leave you deep in debt and destroy your credit rating. As a Consumerist article notes,
"Leaving a building with a file folder with documents in it is a lot more innocuous if a third party sees them than if they're walking out of an apartment holding a TV or a DVD player. And the long-term payoff is a lot more"
At home we shred any junk mail or junk mail envelope that has our name on it. Especially shred credit card unwanted. applications. Shred old bills from doctors and documents outlining medical benefits to prevent others from using your insurance.

If you lose your wallet, call your insurer and let them know. Also call the police, your bank, every credit card, and the credit history companies. Without your wallet, how quickly can you find out what credit cards you carry and your ID number for each?  Never carry your Social Security card in a wallet or purse.

Beware also of high tech ID theft. If you do online banking at a public Wi-Fi spot, you could have your account and password stolen. Password protect your smart phone.

Bottom Line

Here are two sites for what to do if your identity is stolen.
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/idtheft/idt07.shtm
http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs17a.htm

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