Drug testing

Identity Theft - Dont Think You Are Immune

As identity theft becomes more prevalent, the need to regularly check your credit report is very easy to see and understand. Two big headlines in the news recently point to how closely tied your credit report and identity theft are.

First, we hear of the troubles of Choice Point, a company involved in the storage and distribution of credit information. It appears some criminals set up a fake company and used it to obtain sensitive credit information. Then in turn they used it to steal the identities of about 750 people. That number will probably grow, since more than 500,000 people across the country have been put at risk.

Second, comes the story about missing computer tapes containing credit card records of more than 1.2 million of Bank of America cardholders. Most of the accounts belonged to federal government employees. This has placed the account holders in danger of increased risk of identity theft.

Both of these companies are now in the process of notifying the people of their exposure. The truly bad part of all the problems is these leaks and losses occurred months ago. These two companies were not very quick in notifying the people affected. Way too much damage could have been done before they had been alerted to the trouble.

While the headlines may change, the need to check your credit report does not. You may be very careful. You may shred your documents, the credit card and other financial solicitations you receive in the mail. You may take great care how and where you give out your financial information. Unfortunately as these stories show, it may not be enough.

Identity theft affects about 10 million victims per year. It has been estimated to cost consumers and businesses more than 50 billion dollars a year. It is easily among the fastest growing categories of white collar crime. You need to do all you can to fight theft of your identity.

A new law has been put on the books by the Congress to help combat the losses. It allows the you, the consumer to request a free credit report from the credit agencies once a year. You should not hesitate to take advantage of it. However, the law has a rollout feature which does not allow full access for all Americans until September 1 of this (2005) year.

While this is a step in the right direction, in typical fashion the government continues to leave the populace exposed. You should access your credit report much more often than once a year. If an identity theft takes place just after receiving the free credit reports, an enormous amount of damage can be done before you can review your next free report.

The Federal Trade Commission has put together a list of questions and answers concerning this new law and the effect it will have on your credit report and your risk of identity theft. They can be helpful to you in determining your rights under the law

It makes sense to check your reports regularly, as often as, on a monthly basis. This may seem a bit much to you, but just ask a person who has had their identity stolen how much hassle it is to take your life back. They will tell you it is well worth the effort. Let's face it, no one cares as much as you, about your credit record, and the damage that identity theft could cause in your life.

(c)2005 David Wilding

David Wilding has for the past ten years worked with groups and individuals to rid their lives of debt. Visit his website for more ideas, tools, and strategies to get rid of your debt.

limousine chicago service
In The News:

Good vs. Bad Credit Debt

Do you know the difference between good and bad credit... Read More

Are you paying higher interest on your credit cards than you think?

Many credit card holders sign up for a credit account... Read More

What is a Credit Report?

Ever wondered what is a credit report? If you've ever... Read More

Bad Checks, Bounced Checks, & NSF Checks

Negotiable instruments like checks and drafts have become an indispensable... Read More

How To Survive In A Plastic World, Qualifying For Credit Card

Let's face it, having credit is no longer a choice.... Read More

Do you Know the Benefits of Checking your Credit Report?

Do you know why you should check your credit report?Of... Read More

Bankruptcy Myths Busted

The average American knows very little about bankruptcy. Most people... Read More

Credit Card Disclosure Table ? Do You Understand It All?

In addition to the APR (annual percentage rate) and the... Read More

Beware the Shopping Mall Monster

Like me, you've probably been offered a fair old number... Read More

The Next Person With Credit Problems Got Their First Credit Card Today!

One of the focus areas of my information is the... Read More

7 Ways To Squash Identity Theft

It is the scourge of our age: identity theft. Thieves... Read More

Credit Cards: Pros and Cons

Sure, there are a lot of problems with credit cards,... Read More

SuperCharged Secret 4, Credit Card Utopia

YOU SCRATCH MY BACK, AND I'LL BUY SOME MORE BEER!Let's... Read More

Free Credit Report ? Watch Out for Scams

Many people may still not be aware of an amendment... Read More

5 Things Your Credit Card Company Keeps Quiet About

Credit Cards can bankrupt you if you let them run... Read More

Five Reasons to Repair Your Credit Score - You Can Do It Yourself

There are multiple reasons that tell us why we should... Read More

Credit Cards - The Top 3 Things You Need To Know

Today there are so many different credit cards available, student... Read More

ChexSystems: Alternative Options for People Whove Been Checking Accounts

Individual banks elect to become members of ChexSystems, and to... Read More

New Law Provides Free Annual Credit Report

As of Thursday, December 1, 2004, one-third of Americans will... Read More

Avoiding College Credit Card Traps

Congratulations college freshman! You're about to embark on one of... Read More

Credit Score: The Brightest Feather In Your Financial Cap

Credit scores are the most important aspect that determines your... Read More

Bank Robbery Growing In U.S.

Bank robbery has grown to become a huge problem in... Read More

How Credit Scoring Works

The all important credit score! It determines the amount of... Read More

Reward Credit Cards: Get the Best Rewards Card Incentive Program

A good credit reward card can contribute to your retirement... Read More

Borrowing on a Credit Card

One of the easiest ways to borrow money of a... Read More

street lights manufacturers benefits of led lights Pete's produce ..