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Identity theft

"The police can't protect consumers. People need to be more aware and educated about identity theft. You need to be a little bit wiser, a little bit smarter and there's nothing wrong with being skeptical. We live in a time when if you make it easy for someone to steal from you, someone will."

Tip: photocopy everything you carry in your wallet and keep double copies in different safe places. If your wallet is stolen or lost you will know were to call to replace all your cards and will have a copy of any ID's you need to replace.

identity theft resource center s a nonprofit national organization for identity theft. Provides consumer & victim support, public education, and advice on what steps to take when you have been a victim of ID theft.

HaveIBeenPwned.com is a free resource that lets anyone quickly assess if they may have been put at risk due to an online account having been compromised or "pwned" in a data breach.

To protect yourself from identity theft just freeze your credit file. When you freeze your file nobody (not even you) can use it to open a new account. You can lift the freeze temporarily if you want to apply for a mortgage, car loan or new credit card. To freeze your file you will have to notify all three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). The procedures are different in each state, so find your state at www.consumerunion.org/securityfreeze.html and follow the steps outlined. 

www.equifax.com, www.experian.com and www.transunion.com began offering consumers nationwide the option of freezing their credit reports. With a security freeze, lenders and businesses cannot get access to your credit files or scores without your authorization. This means they aren't likely to issue new credit. That in turn greatly reduces the chance that a thief will be able to get credit in your name and damage your credit profile. For details on security freeze laws, use Consumers Union's Guide to Security Freeze Protection at
 http://defendyourdollars.org/?s=security+freeze+protection. Consumers Union has compiled a detailed list of each state's law, including when and how you can lift the freeze. The site also provides direct links to the three credit bureaus' security freeze information. Just be sure to double-check with each bureau when placing a security freeze to make sure you are sending the right information. To implement a freeze, you will have to send a certified letter to each of the three major credit bureaus. When applying for a security freeze, you get a PIN (personal identification number) or password, which you will need to use to lift the freeze from your file. The security freeze will remain in place until you request that it be permanently removed or temporarily lifted for a specific time or for a particular creditor or company (for example, an employer or landlord wanting to check your credit history).
Dashlane.com or LastPass.com, are free password managers that allow you to use all kinds of combinations  so you can improve your odds of locking out a criminal.

What is identity theft?



Why Care About Identity Theft




IdentityTheft.gov Helps You Report and Recover from Identity Theft | Federal Trade Commission




Phishing: In a store




Phishing: at the office



Phishing: at home