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IDENTITY THEFT!

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What Is Identity Theft?

 

 

When you complete a form online and provide personal information make sure that you are using a secure site.  There should be a padlock at the lower right site of your screen that tells you it is a secure site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never give your personal information out to a person who calls you on the telephone out of the blue.  Get their phone number and tell them you will call them right back.  Hang up and call the main office number listed on your statement or the back of your card to question the validity of the call.

 

 

 

Call us at 314-438-0222 and ask for information on an identity theft protection policy.

   

A growing white collar crime.

Are you a victim and don't even know it?

In today's society there are many things that can rock your world and not all of them are good.  It is unfortunate that we need to protect ourselves from situations that are beyond our control but that is what is happening.  It only takes one small problem and your life can be turned upside down.  If this happens to you and you don't know your rights you can be treated as if you didn't have any.

DO YOU KNOW ANYONE?

 

 

HAVE YOU EVER RECEIVED STRANGE MAIL OR PHONE CALLS?

 

Do you know anyone who has had their identity stolen?

Did they have a hard time getting it fixed?

How many areas of their life did it affect?

How much time and money did they have to spend?

Is it fixed yet?

 

Have you ever received information from a credit card company that said your application had been approved and you did not apply for it?  That can be a warning sign.  Were you recently turned down for credit that you thought you could get?  That could be a sign too.

 

 

 

WHAT CAN HAPPEN WHEN YOUR IDENTITY IS STOLEN?

 

When someone steals your identity you may not know about it for months or years.  We live in an information oriented society and technology allows us to do business and make transactions in a matter of seconds.  This is a great thing for most of us but this abundance of information has also created problems.  According to a 2003 release from the Federal Trade Commission, almost 10 million people in the United States may be victimized by identity thieves each year.  Just because you have not received any strange phone calls or mail does not mean that it has not happened.  Some of the people who steal identities are very good at keeping what they do hidden for over a year or many years.  They may be using your name and social security number while living in another state.  If they have bought a house or opened up a credit line somewhere they might pay just the minimum balances on the on bills until they have maxed them out.  By that time they may even have taken a second mortgage out on YOUR house and you would not even know it.  If you think this doesn't happen, think again.  It really does happen and it is happening more and more frequently.

 

 

 

WILL THE THINGS ON YOUR CREDIT AFFECT OTHER AREAS OF YOUR LIFE?

 

Your credit standing is one of your most important financial assets. It not only affects your ability to get credit, it often dictates the interest rate at which you can borrow. It can also affect your ability to purchase insurance or to find employment. Some insurance companies use your credit score to set your premium rates and some prospective employers use your credit rating to gauge your sense of responsibility.  This can be very devastating to find that your identity has been stolen when you are trying to find a job because you are already in a bind and you don't need one more headache.

 

 

 

PROTECT  YOUR  IDENTITY!
DON'T DO THESE THINGS!

 

  • Don't give out information on the phone to someone you did not call.
  • Never give your passwords on the computer out.
  • Don't deal with companies online who don't have a phone number and physical address that you can verify.
  • When using your credit card at a restaurant don't allow the server to take your picture ID with them when they ring up your bill.
  • Check your credit reports often.
  • Shred credit card receipts instead of just tossing them in the trash.
  • When buying something online close your browser when you are finished.
  • Don't have your driver's license number or social security number printed on your checks.
  • Don't let other people open accounts with your information, even if it is a family member.

Even with all these type of preventive measures your identity can still be stolen, but it will be harder for the thief to do.

 

 

 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED TO YOU?

 

Be prepared do a lot of legwork in obtaining information from many sources.  You will need to act quickly to minimize the damage to your good name and credit. 

  • Make a police report and get a copy of it.
  • Contact the major credit reporting agencies.
  • Report it to the FTC
  • Obtain current credit reports from the credit reporting agencies.
  • Notify all the companies listed on your credit report of the fraud.
  • Notify the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Office, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Postal Service offices.
  • Keep a log of all the people you have contacted and the dates.  When contacting places by phone be sure to jot down the person's name and time you talked to them with their direct phone number.
  • You will also want to keep copies of all the letters that you mail.  It is also a good idea to send all of your letter via certified mail or registered mail.  
  • If a judgment has been entered in your name you may need access to legal forms.  For information about how to obtain legal forms email our office.

All of these steps are going to take your time and be prepared to spend money.  It cost's the average person over $1,500.00 and many months to clear this up.

 

 

 

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF

 

There is a 30 year old company called Kroll, Inc. that provides a broad range of investigative, intelligence, financial, security, and technology services to help clients reduce risks and solve problems. Headquartered in New York with more than 60 offices on six continents, Kroll has a multidisciplinary corps of more than 2,200 employees and serves a global clientele of law firms, financial institutions, corporations, nonprofit institutions, government agencies, and individuals. Over the last three years, Kroll has developed a unique solution for victims of identity theft.

 

 

 

 

 

 
To see more information click here.
If you have a personal question or are interesting in purchasing an Identity Theft Protection plan contact us
or call Robyn Hamlin the office below

Group Benefits, Inc.
21 Nob Hill Drive, Lower Level
St. Louis, MO  63138
PH:  (314) 438-0222

 

 
     

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