Gallagher & Associates Team

Gallagher & Associates Team

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Identity Theft

Studies Show that the Holiday Season is a time of higher identity theft.

1 in 4 U.S. households has been a victim of identity theft in the past five years.

10 million people a year are victimized identity theft.

The cost to victims was $5 billion in out-of-pocket expenses.

Average out-of-pocket loss for victims: $500

Hours spent per victim resolving the problem as shown by identity theft statistics: 30

Hours spent resolving problem: 297 million (Source: FTC identity theft survey report)

1/3 of identity theft victims report that the thieves committed check fraud

66% of victims' personal information is used to open a new credit account in their name

28% of victims' personal information is used to purchase cell phone service

12% of victims end up having warrants issued in their name for financial crimes committed by the identity thief

Tips for Preventing Identity Theft:

*Shred Personal Financial Documents

*Use your credit card and not your Debit Card or Checks

*Leave Purse/Wallet in the Trunk When Shopping

*Carefully Review your Statements

*Only Shop on Secure Websites

*Pull Your Credit Report Once a Year

*Don’t Put Your DOB, SSN and Drivers License on Your Checks

*Don’t Give Your Credit/Debit Card Info Over the Phone

*Obscure Your Entry of PIN Number When Making Purchases

*Utilize a Credit Monitoring Service, i.e. LifeLock

*Do not Make Purchases Over Free Public Wi-Fi Connections

What Do I Do if I am a Victim of Identity Theft?

*Contact law enforcement to make a report of the identity theft.

*Contact all credit card companies and banks to report the theft.

*Contact credit reporting companies to alert them of the theft Equifax, Experian and Trans Union

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