One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from identity theft is to regularly check your credit report. You are entitled to a free copy each year from each of the three credit reporting agencies, and knowing what’s on those reports – as well as what’s not – will go a long way toward protecting your personal information.
But what do you do the rest of the year? The answer is simple: LifeLock.
With LifeLock’s Credit Score Manager, you will always know what’s going on with your credit report. Credit Score Manager provides safeguards for monitoring your report, and monitors it daily. You get an e-mail alert assign as any changes are detected to your report. In other words, as soon as a thief tries to swipe your good credit, you’ll know about it.
You’ll also get unlimited access to your credit management information. This means that if you find anything that concerns you on your credit report, such as a fraudulent entry or incorrect information, you can request to have it removed and then monitor the progress of your request.
And on top of all that, you get assistance from LifeLock’s knowledgeable staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Staff members are available to answer all our questions, and assist you should you find something on your credit report that you find confusing or if you just need advice.
Go online today at www.lifelock.com and learn more about Credit Score Manager. You can’t monitor your credit 24/7 – but LifeLock can.
We’re all used to the technology we’re fortunate to have access to these days. We have smartphones, computers, tablets and other devices that make our lives easier and more entertaining.
But all this technology can be a problem as well – particularly if these items are abused. Criminals who are seeking to steal your personal or financial information have found all sorts of ways to misuse technology in order to gain ill-gotten goods. Knowing how these criminals work and what to do to protect yourself can help.
First of all, be careful where you use the computer, particularly in public places. Public computers are never 100 percent safe, and neither is free Wi-Fi, which you can find all over the place. These networks are not secured, and therefore dangerous. Don’t conduct financial transactions on public Wi-Fi or on public computers, and always remember to sign off when you’re done.
If you use your debit card frequently, make sure you use it as credit, instead of debit, so you don’t have to input your PIN. Most places where you typically use your debit card do not have the level of security to really protect your card, so it’s much safer to use it as you would a credit card. The only time you should use your PIN is at the ATM.
If you shop online, make sure you only use secured sites. Criminals are very good at creating sites that look legitimate and appear to sell whatever you need. If you happen onto one of them, you will input your information in order to make a purchase, but what you’re really transacting for is heartache. Check out a site thoroughly before you shop, making sure the site is secured, and reviewing the site’s return policy. Read the comments as well – it will help you to know what others have said.
Last of all, use common sense. Don’t give your personal or financial information out unless you have to, and to only those with whom you have initiated contact. Remember: Better safe than sorry.
Zachary, La. police have arrested a St. Charles Parish woman accused of fraudulently obtaining student loans in the names of relatives.
Police Chief John Herty said detectives booked 48-year-old Diane S. Truax of Norco on one count of felony theft, 16 counts of forgery, six counts of bank fraud, six counts of monetary instrument abuse and three counts of identity theft.
Herty said Truax is accused of using the personal information of three family members to obtain six loans, totaling approximately $40,000 from JP Morgan Chase Bank. The loans were made without the family member’s knowledge in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
What do you do if a family member steals your identity?
Theft of your identity is time consuming to solve and can be expensive. Adding the fact that a family member committed the crime complicates things a hundredfold. The key in this situation will be to gather all the pertinent information and then communicate with your family member.
If you haven’t done so already, you should be sure to get a copy of your credit report so you’ll know just how much damage has been done. You should also place a fraud alert on your credit report.
Contact the creditors and close the accounts that were opened in your name without your permission. This will keep you family member from having any further access to the account.
Once you have all the information for the accounts that your family member opened and used, you have a tough decision to make. Your next step would be to file a report with the police. But once you do so, the cat’s out of the bag, and the authorities can and will pursue charges, family member or not.
Your family member may agree to pay off the debt, and the creditor may be willing to switch the accounts to the family member’s name. Most, however, are not willing to do this, so doing things this way can be tricky. If you go this route, it’s best to have the family member pay the entire amount in one lump sum.
But it’s highly likely that a family member who was willing to commit a crime like this can’t pay off the debt. If you decide to pay the debt yourself over time, rather than cause a problem in your family, keep in mind that any negative information on your credit report will remain on your account for seven years.
So far, so good. I’m six months into my new LifeLock membership, and so far everything has gone just like they said it would.
I received my notice that I would no longer receive pre-approved credit offers within a few days. Hallelujah! ID thieves steal mail as one of the most common methods of ID theft, and every time I pulled a credit offer with a check out of my mailbox, I worried about whether there had been others I’d missed.
Because of the work I do, I know that a common ID theft technique is to change the victim’s address to divert mail and obtain personal and financial information. LifeLock’s TrueAddress™ monitors address changes and confirms that if my address is changed, it’s because I changed it.
I received my credit reports within just a couple weeks. We’re all supposed to review our credit reports annually, and with LifeLock, it gets done. Only 36% of Americans actually follow that advice, and it’s a relief to be among the 64% who do.
LifeLock’s WalletLock™ helps me replace my bankcards, credit cards, driver’s license, etc. if I ever lose my wallet—something I did twice before I got LifeLock. This weekend, I was in a hurry and had my hands full so I stuffed my debit card and $40 cash into my pocket; I lost the cash, but, thankfully, not the card. Still, it was a relief knowing LifeLock would help replace it if I had.
LifeLock also provides LifeLock Identity Alerts™, eRecon™, 24-hour customer service and a $1 million total service guarantee.
I haven’t applied for any new credit this year, and I haven’t received any notifications that anyone else has used my information to take out new credit. So far, so good.
But has LifeLock actually prevented my becoming an ID theft victim? I don’t know. But I do know they’ve at least cut down on my risk factors. And, I know that if someone did try to steal my identity, I’d know about it a lot faster than I would without LifeLock, and with their help, I’d be able to minimize the damage.
Is that worth $9 a month? You bet.