Identity Theft Tips and a Technical Fiasco…..

explosion Our latest show is at the bottom of that cloud somewhere!

Seems we had a little technical problem with last week’s show. After having to skip several weeks, we put a great show together but unfortunately something on Brent’s computer malfunctioned and his voice was skipping and unintelligible. We always give Brent a bad time about being unintelligible but this time he really was. So our hour show for this week never made it on the air. Hopefully we (Brent) will get the problem fixed and we’ll have a show for you next week.

identity-theft1

In the meantime, I wanted to give everyone a warning of what is happening in the criminal world. Not just my town, not just my state, but everywhere. The current economy might pinch working class people like you and I to conserve a little, maybe not eat out as much, skip a movie, conserve gas, not buy items as often, mainly cutting down on expenses. But it’s driven criminals, mainly thieves, to bolder extremes. And one thing I can’t stand are burglars and thieves, people who take other peoples things.

Just today someone flagged me down and turned in several identification cards, medical cards and other misc items in different people’s names. The finder said they found the items strewn along a busy main street in my city. After tracking down the owners, seems a thief went on a little stealing spree the previous evening. First they went to an elementary school promotion ceremony and stole purses left in teacher’s rooms, then they went to a supermarket and took purses from shopping carts that were unattended or while the owner was turned away, then they went to a hospital and took a wallet from a patient’s room.

Based on the fact that all the items were found in the same area, it’s logical to assume it was the same thief or band of thieves. They discarded what they didn’t need and kept the things they could use immediately and sell afterward; drivers licenses, credit and debit cards, social security cards etc. Purchases were made before most of the victims even knew their belongings were missing. Sadly, these victims will probably become victims of identity theft and will have to go through the hassle of trying to straighten it all out before their credit is ruined.

This happens EVERY day, in EVERY city, in EVERY state. Most of us have to go to work to support our families and ourselves. Thieves have a job too, stealing. Sitting at home and collecting welfare or public assistance isn’t enough so they steal to supplement their income to support their drug and alcohol binges. (Can you tell I’m getting angry?) But it’s actually us that are letting it happen. Most of us can’t do anything about a gun being pointed at us and someone demanding property, it’s wise to give up almost anything if your life is in danger. But you can deter the common low-life thief or burglar.

In all these thefts, property was left UNATTENDED or the victim was DESTRACTED and wasn’t watching their property. That’s exactly what thieves look for, easy targets. You may have left a purse or wallet in a classroom, on a car seat, or in a shopping cart a hundred times without incident. But the 101st time it may go missing. You’ll wonder where it went but the answer will come quickly when thousands of dollars are charged on your credit card, when bank accounts are drained, when new accounts are opened in your name, when your spotless credit history is ruined and it takes months or years (or longer) to try and straighten it out. Try to buy a house or obtain credit after someone destroys your credit history, sorry you won’t be able to obtain credit period!

Does this scare you? I hope so, because it’s happening everyday to thousands of people across the U.S. Jim and I can assure you we hears calls EVERY DAY for people reporting identity theft after their identity is stolen, either physically such as a stolen wallet or purse or also by an internet scam where people unknowingly give away their personal information to a scammer.

Thieves, burglars and scammers are all around you like a bad virus, they are waiting for the chance to make you a victim. Take precautions; guard your property and identity like your life depends on it. Believe me, if someone destroys your credit and steals your identity, your life could depend on it.

Keep your property with you. If you do not keep it with you, LOCK IT UP! Keep it in the trunk of a car, in a locked cabinet in a classroom, have a nurse lock it in a safe in the hospital, hold it in your hand in a dressing room, on your shoulder in a supermarket, KEEP IT CLOSE! Don’t keep purses or wallets in a car, it’s just a matter of time before someone breaks in and takes it. At work, don’t leave a wallet in a drawer, just a matter of time….There’s a rash of people going into gyms and cutting locks off lockers. Why you ask? Because thieves know that people lock their personal items up in a locker at the gym. Don’t even take items into the gym; just take your membership card and whatever else you need, small items you can keep with you. Leave the rest at home, if you have to, lock a purse or wallet in the trunk of your car.

No matter what precautions people take thieves will find a way to make people victims. But the more precautions you take, you lesson the chance of becoming a victim because there will always be easier victims for the low-life crooks to choose from.

Below are the three credit reporting agencies in case you believe you are the victim of identity theft. Everyone can get a free credit report from each of them once a year to make sure nothing is on there that shouldn’t be; a wise thing to do. You can also put an alert on your credit to inform you if someone tries to obtain credit in your name.

http://www.equifax.com – EQUIFAX

http://www.experian.com – EXPERIAN

http://www.transunion.com – TRANSUNION

Like Jim always says, lock it or lose it.

Take care, take precautions and be safe!

Leave a Reply




If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.