Fighting Identity Theft
I have filed over 2,500 personal bankruptcy cases. Approximately 1 out of every 10 bankruptcy clients tell me that some of their debt is really not their own. They have been the victim of identity theft.
Recent newspaper articles tell how hackers have stolen credit card and personal information from Target and Home Depot.
Personally, I had a situation whereby fraudsters were opening up credit cards in my name throughout the country.
These types of situations are scary, time consuming to correct, and can be emotionally devastating.
What should you do? After my information was stolen, I put a fraud alert on my credit reports so that no credit accounts can be opened in my name without me first being contacted. I also pay for a private company to monitor my credit for suspicious activity.
Here are a few suggestions to minimize your chance of having to suffer from identity theft.
- Do not leave your mail in your mailbox for extended periods of time. Have the postal service hold your mail if you are going to be away from home.
- Guard your purse and wallet. Beware of pick pockets.
- Shred documents that have personal identifiers such as birth dates, social security numbers and credit card numbers.
- When online, be aware of “phishers” who seek out your personal information by claiming to be legitimate companies.
Regardless of how hard you try, you still may be victimized. If this happens, try to stay calm.
If you need further guidance, feel free to contact our office. I can be reached at (419) 327-6160.