Archive for March, 2010

Consumers Must be Ever-Vigilant in Protecting Their Identities

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

ThiefIdentity theft has been a problem and a concern for many years, but the current state of the economy has turned it into big business. Stealing your identity could mean big profits for those who don’t mind “earning” their living on the shady side of life.

Small-scale crooks will steal identities one at a time, while the large-scale thieves will simply hack into a database and take thousands all at once, but the result is the same. Your name and your good credit is stolen, to be used by “a person or persons unknown.”

Identities, once stolen, may be used by the thief to make a few purchases with a credit card before moving on to the next name, or may be sold to an “end user.” And not all identities are stolen for the same reason.

Some definitely want to use your good credit to make purchases. Others want to use your identity in order to gain employment or rent a house. That’s the kind of theft you won’t even notice unless you read your credit report – or until the IRS demands to know why you haven’t declared all of your earnings on your tax return.

This very real threat to your mental and financial well-being is one reason why brings its readers the latest information on protecting themselves from identity theft, and why they recommend services that monitor your credit report for activity on a regular basis.

Articles on site alert readers to the “red flags” of identity theft – such as a change of address or an incorrect employer listing. Other articles explain what to do when you find errors or signs of theft. Still others warn of the latest scams perpetrated by identity thieves.

For instance one of the current threats is so slick that thousands of victims have already fallen prey. It happens when consumers get a phone call supposedly originating from their credit card issuer. The caller asks if they’ve just made a specific large dollar purchase and when the consumer says no, the caller says she will deny the charge and file a report.

The caller knows the credit card number, the consumer’s address, and possibly even their Social Security number, and asks the consumer to verify all that information. Then, after some conversation and rapport-building, the caller asks the consumer to check to see if they have their credit card in their possession. And in order to verify that yes, they do, she asks for the 3 digit code on the back.

Of course the call was bogus, but now the crooks not only have the credit card number, but the 3-digit code.

So beware – and don’t give out any information over the phone!

Author: Marte Cliff your resource for credit reports, credit cards, loans and ground breaking credit news.

Disclaimer: This information has been compiled and provided by as an informational service to the public. While our goal is to provide information that will help consumers to manage their credit and debt, this information should not be considered legal advice. Such advice must be specific to the various circumstances of each person's situation, and the general information provided on these pages should not be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.