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Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis

Identity theft this, identity theft that. Why is everyone so paranoid? It’ll never happen. Uh, excuse me just a sec…

You’re who? Wait a minute, that’s me. Hey! You can’t do that…

Even if you don’t know anyone who’s been through identity theft, it really happens and it can put you into crushing debt that ruins your credit and doesn't always go away quickly or painlessly. Take a few steps to make sure your identity isn’t up for grabs—literally.

Grab your wallet, and let's take a peek inside. Look, there's your social security card. Take it out and lock it in a drawer somewhere. If your wallet is stolen or lost, that's the LAST document you want someone to have their hands on. Also, don't write your ATM pin numbers on anything in your wallet. Consider carrying only one credit card, and make photocopies of both sides of all credit, debit, membership or insurance cards and keep them in a safe place at home. This last step will save you if you are robbed—it'll be a couple of quick calls to your credit card companies and banks instead of a mad scramble to find all the information you need to protect your funds.

Monitor your credit report often and for extra protection, place a fraud alert on your credit report. You’ll find more information on fraud alerts, credit freezes and preventing identity theft online at sites like Fightidentitytheft.com and Ftc.gov.

Posted: 7/24/08
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Identity theft is such a scary thought. I wish we didn't have to worry about predatory people wanting to steal from us this way. How horrible these people are ... a close second to phishers and spammers.