Identity Theft And What We Can Do To Prevent It

By
Mortgage and Lending with George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages NMLS #65149

Identity Theft And What We Can Do To Prevent It.  Identity theft is one of those things that never goes away, and those who steal other peoples identity keep on coming out with more and more creative ways to do it.  Therefore, we need to always be on the lookout for anything which looks unusual with our credit card statements, credit report or anything else which impacts us financially, as well as know what steps to take to prevent it. 

Some of the more common ways Identity Theft happens is:

  • Dumpster Diving - Thieves rummage through dumpsters looking for personal information.
  • Skimming - Thieves can steal our credit card numbers with special electronic devices
  • Phishing - Thieves pretend to be company or government agency to see if they can get us to give them our personal information on the phone or by e-mail.
  • Hacking - Thieves hack into our computer, or e-mail and steel our personal information and/or passwords.
  • Just Plain Stealing - The old fashion way by stealing our wallet or mail.

So What Can We So To Prevent Indenting Theft:

  • Shred all our documents instead of throwing them in the trash.
  • Don't carry our social security card on us.
  • Don't give our personal information over the phone, mail, or Internet unless we are absolutely sure of who we are giving it to.
  • Never click on a link or open an e-mail unless we are sure who they are from, or what the link links to.
  • Don't use obvious passwords.
  • Keep all our personal information in a safe place.
  • Check our credit report regularly for suspicious activity.
  • Be on the alert for other suspicious activity such as:
    • Bills that don't show up on time.
    • Our credit all the sudden is being denied.
    • Bills for purchases that we did not make.

When we suspect our Identity might have been stolen:

  • Report it to the police immediately.
  • Call the security department for each account, and tell them that we suspect fraudulent activity on our accounts.
  • Contact the three major Credit Bureaus:
    • Equifax  - PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374  (800) 685-1111
    • Experian - PO Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013-0036  (888) 397-3742
    • TransUnion - PO Box 1000, 2 Baldwin Place, Chester, PA 19022  (800) 888-4213

and place a Fraud Alert on your Credit Report.

These are just a few of the steps we can take to Identity Theft And What We Can Do To Prevent It.  But I am sure you may have already thought of other things which can be done to prevent Identity Theft that I have not included in this blog, so please share them with us.

 

 

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 Info about the author:

George Souto NMLS# 65149 is a Loan Originator who can assist you with all your #FHA, #CHFA, and #Conventional #mortgage needs in Connecticut. George resides in Middlesex County which includes #Middletown, #Middlefield, #Durham, #Cromwell, #Portland, #Higganum, #Haddam, #East Haddam,# Chester, #Deep River, and #Essex. George can be contacted at (860) 573-1308 or gsouto@mccuemortgage.com

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 Info about the author:

George Souto NMLS# 65149 is a Loan Originator who is licensed in #CT, #RI, #MA, #NH, & #FL and can assist you with all your #FHA, #Conventional, #VA, #USDA, and #State Bonded Progam #mortgage needs in #CT, #RI, #MA, #NH, & #FL. George resides in Middlesex County which includes #Middletown, #Old Saybrook, #Middlefield, #Durham, #Cromwell, #Portland, #Higganum, #Haddam, #East Haddam, #Moodus, #Chester, #Deep River, and #Essex. George can be contacted at (860) 573-1308 or souto@snet.net

Comments (55)

Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

This a great tips.  I am always concerned about identity theft.  These tips should go a long way to prevent it from happening.

Oct 23, 2014 11:48 AM
John Anello, Stamford Area Electrician
Safe and Sound Electric LLC - Greenwich, CT
Call Safe and Sound Electric at 203-536-0021

Identity theft is a serious probelm and the frequency of incidents keeps increasing every year.  Thanks, George.

Oct 23, 2014 11:54 AM
Ann Marie Clements
Remax Realty Group - Gaithersburg, MD
Montgomery County & Frederick County

Hi George, this was a wonderful post. Identity theft stinks. Many years ago I was going to balance my checking account and noticed their were a few checks that had the name Micheal Jordan, and other basketball players on them...the theives had manufactured these checks and used them at the local stores, about $5,000 in all- they used my routing number and account number. Luckily the bank gave me my money back.  Craaaazy! 

Oct 23, 2014 12:08 PM
Sussie Sutton
David Tracy Real Estate - Houston, TX
David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers

Great post! I have had my identity stolen and I don't think I can write a check anymore. It has been years since I have written one. I hope the person who ruined this for me rots in HELL.

I pay for everything with a credit card or cash. And I must admit with the way credit card info is being stolen these days.... cold hard cash is starting to look very good.

Oct 23, 2014 12:34 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

George Souto no matter how much careful we are, they do 'hack' us - still, it's better to be safer than sorry.

Oct 23, 2014 01:11 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Hi George,  I remember having my credit card scanned right through my wallet without me knowing it.  The next day my bank told me of an unusual purchase that was made over 100 miles away.  I'm glad my bank was on their toes.  We immediately canceled the debit card and was issued a new and different one.

Oct 23, 2014 01:52 PM
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

Great tips! It is amazing with all the information on some of these items that has been out the past few years that some folks still fall for some of these scams

Oct 23, 2014 03:16 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Get a paper shreddder definitely and name your paas word something nonsensical and then chage it  now and then. Works well I find. :)

Oct 23, 2014 04:53 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good morning George. I will have to say that my paper shredder does get a workout. These are all good tips that people need to be aware of.

Oct 23, 2014 05:54 PM
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate

George,

Email is fast becoming useless because of all the phony messages piling up every day. Ugh! That's one of the casualties of being out on the internet.

Rich

Oct 23, 2014 07:09 PM
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond

Great share George and being vigiilant about ones' financial life is a must...noone is protected anymore.

Oct 23, 2014 10:37 PM
Barbara Calwhite
Keller Williams Realty of Southwest Missouri - Joplin, MO
417-438-7387 Specializing in Relocation

Great post George.  Very good reminder especially for this time of year with the holidays approaching.

Oct 23, 2014 11:19 PM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

It is amazing how much criminal activity there is out there.  We all have to watch our credit report and where our purses or wallet are at all times, not to mention our online things.

Oct 23, 2014 11:33 PM
ReadySetLoan Condo Approval Team
ReadySetLoan Condo Team LLC - South Windsor, CT
The FHA/VA Condo Project Approval Specialists

Hi George - these are great tips to help prevent theft.  Even armed with this knowledge, things can still happen.  My friend was scammed last month when she got gas at a gas station in Florida.  She used her credit card and the thieves obtained her credit card number through skimming.  Luckily, the bank caught it because she was using her card in GA and the thieves were using it in Florida.  All she did was pay for gas.

Oct 24, 2014 12:37 AM
AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS
Keyes Co. - Davie, FL
Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in FL

It is always good to get reminders like this... with phone numbers and all... but this is like cold virus.. you take the shot for ABC virus and a new XYZ virus comes along  and your are not longer protected.... "Alert 100 hours per day"

Oct 24, 2014 01:38 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Great post, George. And like lots of other things in life, it points out to what degree common sense plays a big role in avoiding identity theft.

Oct 24, 2014 05:24 AM
Scott Gleason
RE/MAX Select - Westfield, NJ
Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist

Thank you for such a detailed list of what we can do when we suspect our identity has stolen.  If it can happen to banks and national store chains, it can happen to anyone.

Oct 24, 2014 05:31 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Hi George, thanks for the important reminders and phone numbers to the credit bureaus.

Oct 25, 2014 12:34 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks for the tips George, it seems like a never ending battle to keep ahead of these criminals.

 

Nov 19, 2014 11:47 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Please be advised as about a scam to obtain your personal information, particularly your SS#. You might receive  a call from a "litigation specialist" representing a company named STARK RECOVERY. This person might tell that they have your Social Security # and just wanted to "confirm" that their information is correct because it involved a "very serious legal matter". When asked what the call was in reference to, this litigation specialist refuses to give any information and INSISTS that you "confirm" that her SS# was correct.
STARK RECOVERY company steals social security # and other personal information.
So PLEASE BE SAFE AND AWARE.

Aug 28, 2015 07:45 AM