The FBI has called it “The fastest growing crime in America.” Close to 10 million Americans every year are victimized by it and the costs are estimated at 50 billion dollars annually. Many criminals get off easy while the victims spend years working to restore their damaged credit reports and reputations. Worse yet, there seems to be no end in sight.


Here is a good set of tips to guard you from several types of Financial Identity Fraud. This is an excerpt from Sebastian Foss.
The FBI has called it “The fastest growing crime in America.” Close to 10 million Americans every year are victimized by it and the costs are estimated at 50 billion dollars annually. Many criminals get off easy while the victims spend years working to restore their damaged credit reports and reputations. Worse yet, there seems to be no end in sight.
“The popularity of the crime is simply growing faster than the solutions to stop it” many experts conclude. The task of recovery is so time consuming and tedious, multiple states have resorted to creating “Identity Theft Passports” for victims in an attempt to ease the pain for them as they endure the lengthy and frustrating clean up process.
CREDIT HIJACKING DEFENSE: Most online merchants now utilize a security feature known as “Address Verification Service” or “AVS”. AVS is a security feature for online merchants allowing them to only authorize credit card transactions for merchandise to be shipped to the same address which appears on the consumers credit card billing statement. If the address does not match that of the credit card billing statement the transaction will automatically be declined. In other words, if someone gets your credit card number, expirations date and CVV code (the three digit code on the back of the card) the only way a transaction can be authorized online is if the merchandise if shipped to the SAME address that your credit card billing statement is currently sent to. This is what makes credit hijacking so dangerous. When a criminal hijacks your credit they call up the banks (posing as you) and change your address on your credit cards with your personal information (i.e. last for of SSN and mothers maiden name) as if you were moving. They then proceed to order thousands of dollars in merchandise (online or over the phone) to be shipped to the “new” address. Because they changed “your address” on your credit cards they will bypass the AVS security from online merchants and the charges will be approved.
The only real defense against credit hijacking is to establish a personal security code with all your bank accounts and credit cards. This is a form of security which goes beyond your SSN, Zip Code, Date of Birth or Mothers Maiden Name to give you a whole new tier of personal security. This is a unique number or group of letters and numbers which you create and give to every credit card provider you have. For example. The number could be as simple as “JACOB2801” which is a combination of your best friend as child and the numerical address of the home you lived in growing up. By establishing this auxiliary passcode with all your credit card providers no one will be granted access to your accounts without it providing it to them. Since you are the only one who knows it and it is non public it is truly secure. I have yet to find a credit card company which will not allow you to create a such a passcode and added layer of security.
Summary
So now with the initial fraud alert established on your credit reports (and later extended) as well as the personal security code set up with all your bank and credit card accounts, you are virtually identity theft proof in under 60 minutes for free. Sure, someone can always “steal” your identity but the real joke will be on them. If they try to open a new credit account anywhere in the country the creditor is going to have to call YOU at the phone number listed on your report in before it can be approved and it’s GAME OVER. If they try to hijack your credit by changing the address on your credit accounts they will be asked for not only the last four digits of your SSN and mother maiden name, but also your personal security code which they will NOT know and again it’s, GAME OVER.
Please understand that this article deals only with the topic of “financial” identity theft which covers about 28% of the identity theft today. However, you should be aware you also have the following “5 MAJOR” identities in computers across the nation which are your: 1.) Driving Records/History (DMV Databases). 2.) Medical Records/History (Medical Information Bureau Database). 3.) Social Security Records/History (SSA Database). 4.) Insurance Claims/History (C.L.U.E. Database). 5.) Criminal, Legal and Public Record databases from birth records and real estate deeds to corporations, trusts and court cases. Yes, we are in the information age but all information is stored in databases. I think we are now living in the database age.
You may learn more about Identity Theft defense by contacting me or going to www.prepaidlegal.com/idt/lawson
to your success,
Jon

2 thoughts on “”

  1. Identity theft is just one part of the problem. To learn more about the various types of scams out there, go to http://www.fightfraudamerica.com. In addition to fraud information, you’ll find links to help you protect yourself against fraud as well as links to report it, if you have been scammed or know someone who is scamming the system.

  2. In order to protect yourself from identity fraud and name theft, you must carefully protect your personal records, and pursue online activities with caution. There are a number of things you can do in your everyday life to prevent identity theft and
    identity safety

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