Do You Really Need Identity Theft Protection?
Let’s face it, nobody likes paying for insurance or the like. But the thing is when it comes to protecting your identity these days, you can never be too safe. After some deep thought and rese...
Let’s face it, nobody likes paying for insurance or the like. But the thing is when it comes to protecting your identity these days, you can never be too safe.
After some deep thought and research on the topic, here are some of the pros and cons of Identity Theft Protection. You can make a decision for yourself. Obviously, nobody can make decisions like this for you, after all. You’re a grown adult now, it’s time to start managing your future.
According to Consumer Reports in 2013, about 50 million US consumers spent $ 3.5 billion in 2010 to buy products that are claimed to protect their identity. Javelin Strategy and Research, a California consulting firm stated however, that do it you safeguards are just as effective as paid services.
It is noted that generally the paid services are running around $120 to $300 annually while a self-help option costs little to nothing.
They say that marketing can be deceptive. Just make sure the deal you’re signing up for is the deal that you’re signing up for. Don’t let the marketers convince you of other deals and services that you don’t really need. This is where the scamming of the industry comes in.
Otherwise, Consumer Reports mentions that the threat is really just exaggerated. Two-thirds of cases of ID theft reported to the annual National Crime Victimization Survey involve stolen credit cards, non-stolen identities. Federal regulations limit your liability, usually to fifty dollars per account, and even that is often waived by card issuers. Add stolen debit cards and check forgery and existing account fraud that makes up 80 percent of the so-called ID theft around the nation ---
But, on the contrary - Huffington Post says that Consumer Reports got it all wrong….
Huff Post said that Identity theft is like a natural disaster and when it comes to identity theft, many Americans are just as unprepared as they are for any natural disaster.
Accordingly, the Federal Trade Commission recently reported that the number of identity theft complaints surged 32 percent to nearly 370,000 last year (when this article first appeared in March of 2013). The actual number of victims in 2012 was more like 12.6 million, according to a more recent report by Javelin Strategy and Research. And that’s only what we know about.
Let that sink in for a minute.
So why do you need ID theft protection again? - Or don’t you?
Identity theft takes many forms. Some of the most common include:
Credit card fraud
False applications for new credit
Fraudulent withdrawals from a bank account
Fraudulent use of telephone calling cards
Fraudulent use of an IP address in order to engage in illegal acts online
Fraudulent use of medical care
Social Security fraud (for tax and employment fraud)
Consider these tips to protecting your identity from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Keep your [social security] card and any other document that shows your Social Security number in a safe place; DO NOT routinely carry your card or other documents that display your number.
Be careful about sharing your [social security] number, even when you are asked for it; ONLY share your SSN when absolutely necessary.
Protect your personal financial information at home and on your computer.
Check your credit report annually.
Check your Social Security Administration earnings statement annually.
Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - File an Identity Theft Affidavit and create an Identity Theft Report. You can file your report online here
File a Police Report - To complete the Identity Theft Report, you’ll need to contact your local law enforcement office and report the theft. Be sure to get a copy of the police report and/or the report number.
Protect your Social Security Number - If your social security number was or may have been compromised, contact the Social Security Administration right away (800- 269-0271) and the IRS (800-829-0433).
Additionally, if you have reason to believe the identity theft may have submitted a fraudulent change of address to the post office or has used the US mail to commit any fraud against you, contact the Postal Inspection Service which is the law enforcement and security branch of the post office.
What it boils down to is really very simple. To prevent identity theft, do not give out personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call… shred your receipts, credit card offers, bank statements, returned checks and any other sensitive information before throwing it away.
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