5 Tips to protect yourself from Credit & Identity Theft

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A new year is upon us and we must take the time to examine all aspects of our lives, both spiritually and physically. Make sure that this year you will have no regrets about the security of the items in your wallet…

Today’s fast-paced world of electronic convenience has made identity theft an ever-increasing problem. You probably know someone who this has happened to — it may have even happened to you. Identity theft can be a nightmare and an expensive and time consuming one at that. Here are simple actions you can take that can help to protect your identity and your credit rating.

Kosher Identity Theft:
Did you know that the OK has a special department to track and handle unauthorized products.

This article appears courtesy of Abraham Fried.
Abraham is a Registered Representative offering securities through MetLife Securities, Inc.(MSI) (member FINRA/SIPC), New York, NY 10166. Insurance and annuities offered through Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC), New York, NY 10166. MSI and MLIC are MetLife companies. He focuses on meeting the individual insurance and financial services needs of people in the heimishe community. You can reach Abraham at his office at 15 Bay Ridge Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11220; 718-567-3139 and at www.abefried.com. L12071392[exp1208][All States][DC]

1 When you order checks, don’t use your full first or middle names; use your initials with your full last name instead. Who’s going to guess that “B” stands for “Baila” or “Boruch” when attempting to forge your signature?

2 Instead of using your home phone number on your checks, put your work number. In addition, if you have a PO Box, use it for your address and never, ever publish your Social Security number on your checks.

3 Make photocopies of every piece of identification that you carry with you daily and be sure to copy both sides. Keep the copies in a safe and handy place. If your wallet is ever stolen, all the information you’ll need: auto license and registration, credit card account numbers, and customer service hotlines, will be available to you in one place.

4 If your credit cards are stolen, immediately file a police report in the jurisdiction where the theft occurred. You’ll want as much documentation as possible to prove to your credit card issuers that you were diligent.

5 If your credit cards are stolen, call all national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. The alert lets any company that checks your credit to know that your information was stolen and that they are to contact you by phone to authorize any new credit. Their numbers are:

Equifax 800-685-1111, Experian 888-397-3742, and Trans Union 800-888-4213. In case your Social Security card or number is stolen, it may be best for you to notify the Social Security Administration 800-269-0271, too.

While no amount of caution can be totally fool-proof, being aware of the potential identity theft possibilities and how to protect ourselves, even if we fall victim, are simple steps to give us an added defense.