Identity Theft - Threat & Solutions
There's simply no denying that identity theft is a huge problem that continues to grow. It can literally ruin people's financial lives and can devastate them personally. A simple search of Google News reveals hundreds of news stories about identity theft - and new ones are added EVERY single day. At present, there are 4,853 stories about identity theft.
Google Trends reveals a nearly constant stream of people searching for the term "identity theft." At present, the cities that are googling the terms "identity theft" the most are Washington D.C., Phoenix, Denver, San Diego, Austin, Dallas, Chicago and Atlanta. Almost certainly, these cities are searching for information related to identity theft because their populations are experiencing a high occurrence of this particular crime.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is tasked with the job of educating and informing the public of the dangers of identity theft. The produced an excellent and informative (if not downright scary) report on the problem of identity theft in America. I recommend you download the full report (.pdf format, 2.19 MB) from this link.
Otherwise, here's a few more details that speak to the extent of the threat:
- 8.3 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2005
- Identity theft is the fasting growing crime in America
- Some forms of identity theft steal your credit identity - thus ruining your otherwise good credit.
- Other forms of identity theft steal your driver's license and/or social security number. This also is very serious as it may permit criminals to open new accounts in YOUR name.
- Another form of identity theft is medical identity theft. Someone may pose as you in order to secure drugs or other medical treatment - leaving you with false information in your medical history files that may be used against you by insurance companies or even medical professionals.
- There is also a big problem with criminal identity theft. This involves criminals not just stealing your identity, but becoming you so as to evade law enforcement.
- Finally, perhaps the most sophisticated form of identity theft is what I refer to as "composite identity theft." A criminal will blend together some of your personal information, with a driver's license from another person, and other details from perhaps another person in order to create an entirely new individual.
Clearly, identity theft is a real problem. What's the answer? We can't stop living and we can't stop using and disseminating personal information (ever try to not give out your SSN on a form - its next to impossible!) So, just burying our heads in the sand or becoming hermits is not the answer.
I've come to conclude that just as we insure our cars, houses, and other assets - we must now begin to "insure" our identities. Surely, our identity is the most important asset of all, because it is the means by which we are able to obtain other assets such as cars, houses, jobs, etc.
- Proactively puts fraud alerts on your credit information held by the three credit bureaus. This means that anybody wishing to extend you credit will need to contact you first to validate that it is in fact you that is asking for credit, and not a criminal pretending to be you. They'll call a number you specify, and you verify that it is in fact you. These expire every 90 days, so LifeLock renews them for you proactively.
- Proactively turns off the steady flow of pre-approved credit card offers that arrive daily in your mailbox. These are a big security risk. Someone can steal you mail, pretend to be you, complete the offer, supply a new address - and you won't know that you're incurring thousands in debts until you receive collection calls.
- Proactively orders credit reports each year from the bureaus so that you can review these for suspicious activity.
- If you ever lose your wallet (a major identity theft risk) - LifeLock will handle all the hassle of contacting your credit card companies, banks and other document issuing agencies - and get you back in business as fast as possible.
- Finally, if criminals ever manage to break through LifeLock's defenses and misuse your identity while you are LifeLock's client, they'll spend up to $1,000,000 to restore your good name.
The normal cost at LifeLock's website is $10 a month, or $110 for a year. All day long on the internet you can find deals for $9 a month or $99 a year. But, I can go one better. By means of my special promo code I can offer you a discount of $8 a month or $88 a year. This is the very best discount available anywhere, and I can't promise they'll let me continue to offer this discount.
Sign Up Today
To sign up today, simply click on this link to go to LifeLock's website. When you get there, browse around if you wish, but you'll need to click on the "Enroll Now" button. When you do, verify that promo code IDBLOG has been applied. You'll see the choice of paying $8 each month, or paying $88 for the entire year. Your choice. Answer a few more questions and pay with a credit card.
If you've got a group of people that you'd like help protect themselves against identity theft, why not become an affiliate for LifeLock and gain some rewards for your efforts. This is not a scam deal that promises you'll retire in a month or two of doing nothing. But you can make a few bucks and help others protect themselves.
Contact me at support@SecureMyIdentity.info and I'll get you set up.
Identity Theft News
Check out my blog SecureMyIdentity.Info/blog for the latest news and perspective on Identity Theft and the latest tips to protect yourself from this fast-growing crime.
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