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As a Michigander, are you taking the appropriate measures to protect yourself from identity theft? The Federal Trade Commission recommends that you focus on four areas of safeguards, two of which include protecting your social security number and keeping your personal information secure offline.
Because identity thieves can often use stolen social security numbers to most easily open new lines of credit, get employment with a "clean" identity, or even obtain expensive medical procedures such as cosmetic surgery, making sure that your social security number does not fall into criminal hands should be a top priority. Keep your social security card at home whenever possible, along with any other documents (e.g. Medicare card) that bear that number. If you are asked to give your SSN by a business, ask them why they need it, as well as how they will protect it While some requesters may need it for tax reporting or other purposes, many do so as part of a standard form but will not deny you services or other benefits if you decline.
To keep your information secure offline, consider taking any mail you wish to send directly to the post office or a collection box rather than putting it in your own curbside mailbox. Conversely, when ordering new checks, you may want to have them delivered somewhere other than your home. Another tip is to destroy any labels on prescription medication bottles before recycling or putting them in the trash. Finally, make sure to shred any credit applications, physician statements, expired credit cards, and bank statements when you no longer need them.
However, many residents of Michigan are turning to Identity Theft Protection services, in addition to the previously mentioned strategies, to avoid becoming one of the 7,500 people statewide who report being victims of identity theft in a typical year. You too may benefit from having around-the-clock monitoring of your information, so as to best prevent any long-lasting negative effects on your credit rating - and your life in general.
Identity Theft In The News
A woman has been sentenced to six years in prison for felony identity theft in connection to serial squatting, in which she fraudulently leased residences and failed to pay rents prior to evictions. H...
Published: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 23:27:00 GMT
DENVER (AP) - A woman accused of being a serial squatter by fraudulently leasing properties and failing to pay rent has been sentenced to six years in prison. The Denver Post reports 43-year-old Heath...
Published: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 20:47:00 GMT
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - A new warning was issued to parents, saying it's time to start protecting children from identity fraud. A recent survey found one million kids were victims of identity ...
Published: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 16:08:00 GMT
Bad news: Identity theft has reached an all-time high. Good news: IdentityWorksSM Plus by Experian is an effective weapon against this rising threat. Criminals can nab far more than just your name on ...
Published: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 10:25:00 GMT
Gavin Karpinsky never worried about having his identity stolen, but that's because he's five-years-old and more concerned about playing super hero with his twin brother. "I was shocked," said Heather ...
Published: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 14:57:00 GMT
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