San Diego: Minimizing Your Risk Of Identity Theft: Partial List of Strategies and Techniques

April 15, 2005

In San Diego, identity theft is a rising crime with more and more victims every year. Below are some strategies and techniques which can be implemented to minimize your being a victim however there are no guarantees. You can obtain a free credit report and see for yourself what is on your credit report. Our law firm of Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation, LLP is pleased to provide additional strategies which we have implemented for other clients. Our firm is not a credit reporting service nor do we endorse or support any services however many of our clients have been victims and have consulted with us regarding this. We would be pleased to consult with you as well and please feel free to e mail or call.

* Unless you initiated the contact or you know to a certainty whom you are communicating with, do not give out personal information over the telephone, through the mail, or over the Internet. Before sharing information with an organization, use a website or telephone directory to check on its legitimacy. For companies in San Diego, we recommend researching their company with the Better Business Bureau.

* Remove your regular mail as promptly as possible from your mailbox before a would-be identity thief beats you to it. For outgoing mail, put it into a collection box rather than leaving it to be picked up from your mailbox. Let the Postal Service hold your mail if you are going to be away. You can obtain more tips from the Postal Service as well.

* Yes, it may sound like overkill at home, but it still makes sense to shred or tear up all those discarded charge receipts and similar papers with personal information. There are people out there more than willing to go through your garbage if it means they get to use your credit cards.

* Travel light, financially speaking. Carry only such identifying information, or credit and debit cards, as you will actually need.

* Stay on top of the timing of your credit card bills. A late or missing bill may be a sign that a thief already has taken over your account.

* Approach promotional contacts with a healthy skepticism. Phony offers are too often successful in getting personal information straight from the victim himself.

* Secure your Social Security number. Keep the card itself in a safe place, not on your person. Ask questions and be satisfied by the answers if any person or business asks for your number. There are some legitimate reasons for giving out your number, but it is not a good enough reason when a business simply wants your number as part of its standard recordkeeping.

Oceanside: Minimizing Your Risk Of Identity Theft: In the Short Term

April 1, 2005

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes. Many strategies are being recommended includings shredders which can be found at Staples, Office Depot and Fellowes. Our office of Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation, LLP does not recommend or endorse any of these companies and this information is placed for reference only. Please e mail or fax us with any questions you may have on protecting your identity with legal strategies and techniques.

Whether we like it or not, identity thieves are resourceful. Their methods are as varied as the ways in which consumers need to use some form of identification to initiate and complete transactions. It can all be confusing and intimidating, but consumers need not feel helpless against the expanding threat of identity theft. For most of the tactics used by the bad guys, there are countermeasures for consumers. These measures cannot completely insure that a consumer's identity is safe, but the odds of becoming a victim decline with each protective step taken. What follows is a nonexhaustive collection of safeguards you can put in place to lower the chances that a stranger will do you harm, even as he adds the insult of pretending to be you. These credit bureaus include TransUnion, Equifax and Experian,

* Obtain, review, and insure the accuracy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. These reports have information on where you work and live, your credit accounts, how you pay your bills, and whether you have been sued or arrested or have filed for bankruptcy.

* Use random passwords on your credit card, bank, and telephone accounts rather than birthdays, initials, or other obvious passwords.

* Make sure that the personal information in your home is secure, especially when you have roommates, employ outside workers, or have service and repair work done in your home.

* Look into security procedures for personal information at work. You should be able to find out who can access your information, how your records are kept secure, and what the employer's procedures are for the disposal of records.