Stop Unsolicited offers for Credit Cards and Insurance

OptOutPreScreen.com is the official Consumer Credit Bureau website to Opt-Out or Opt-In from offers of credit and insurance. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) provides consumers the right to stop receiving future prescreened offers.

Companies that solicit new credit card accounts and insurance policies use prescreening to identify potential customers. “Prescreened”, “preapproved” or “Firm” offers are based on information in your credit report.

These are the offers Identity Thieves love to steal from your mail box. Once they also steal your SSN (easier than you may think), they change the address and receive a credit card in your name. They max out the card. You don’t know the card even existed until you start getting collection calls.

Security experts recommend you tell the Credit Bureaus not to sell your credit information by Opting Out.

If you decide that you don’t want to receive prescreened offers of credit and insurance, you have two choices: You can opt out of receiving them for five years or opt out of receiving them permanently.

To opt out for five (5) years: Call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit optoutprescreen.com. The phone number and website are operated by the major consumer reporting companies.

To opt out permanently: You may begin the permanent Opt-Out process online at optoutprescreeen.com. To complete your request, you must return the signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form, which will be provided after you initiate your online request.

When you call or visit the website, you’ll be asked to provide certain personal information, including your home telephone number, name, Social Security number, and date of birth. The information you provide is confidential and will be used only to process your request to opt out.

You can get more information from the FTC .

Stop unsolicited offers and protect your identity.

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Parents Are Panicked Over Kids’ ID Theft (Teens, Not So Much)

By Lynn Lionhood

At first glance, it seems parents and teenagers are aware of the dangers of revealing too much personal information online, including on popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

A November study by the Pew Foundation shows that 72% of parents are “concerned” about how their teenager interacts with people online, and 53% of parents are “very concerned” their teens share too much information online with people they don’t know.

While parents may be getting the message, their kids are seemingly tone deaf to the very real threats coming from identity fraud and data theft. A survey of 700 U.S. teens and found 75% of teens online were sharing some information that made themselves vulnerable to online crime. Some of the ways:

§ 29% of those surveyed said they display their full date of birth online; 33% said they display part of their birth date, such as the month and year.
§ 23% reveal part of their home address and 6% show the full address.
§ 63% share the name of the school they attend.

Yet if you ask the average American 16-year-old, he or she would say they are in no danger of I.D. theft, and that the problem really lies in their friends’ behavior. Only 11% of teens surveyed admit being too lackadaisical about protecting their online identity, while 46% say their peers share too much personal data online.

It’s up to parents to step up and take control.

With 75% of teenagers including some type of personal information on their social media profiles, it’s clear that they don’t understand the potential danger of over sharing. As parents we need to engage in regular conversations with our teens about online behavior and set boundaries.

Parents need to sit their kids down and have a candid discussion on how identity theft can damage their financial lives, especially the theft of Social Security numbers that I.D. fraudsters use to open a credit card in their child’s name. That can lead to rampant financial abuse, wrecking a teen’s credit rating — before they get a chance to.

Parents also need to warn their teens about sharing content online (including racy images and inappropriate dialogue) that could be seen by potential employers in a few years.

With identity theft and other crimes increasingly aimed at teens, the time for parents and educators to take action is now. We can no longer avoid the problem. It’s only likely to worsen in the months ahead.

For more information on Identity Theft Protection:

http://www.legalshieldassociate.com/idt/brucedemarest

 

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Will your children go into Foster care if you die?

Children in Foster care are at a higher risk of Identity Theft

Currently more than 10% of all children have had their Identity stolen. Children are 51 times more likely to be a victim of Identity Theft than an adult. (The FTC and the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime: “Stolen Futures: A Forum on Child Identity Theft”.) More than 500,000 children will become victims of identity theft this year. Do not let your child become one of the victims.

Children in Foster care are even at a higher risk of being a victim of Identity Theft. Common sense tells us why. They have no dedicated protector. There is no parent worrying about them. There is no parent to see a warning flags that the child has become a victim Identity Theft, Sexual Abuse or Bullying. While a foster parent may see the signs, they do not have the gut instincts of the natural parent. They are not the mama and papa bear ready to fight all threats to their cub.

How you can keep your children out of the Foster care system.

Currently nearly 70% of parents do not have a Will. Either they do not realize the importance or their stretched to the limit budget does not have an extra $500. When most people think of Wills, they think of assets and money. For parents the most important function of a Will is “Custodial Rights”. The person you wish to act as your child’s guardian in the event of your death.

You may have a verbal agreement with your sister or best friend that you will take care of each other’s children if either of you die, but without a Will your children will be in Foster care for months. Your sister will spend thousands of dollars in attorney fees and court costs to get custody. Child custody laws vary from state to state, so you need to have your Will done by an attorney.

Click here for more information on low cost legal advice including Wills: http://www.BruceDemarest.com

Please protect your children by keeping them out of Foster care.

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Child Identity Theft Warning Signs

Child identity theft happens when someone uses your child’s personal information to commit fraud. The thief may use your child’s information to file for a fraudulent tax refund or deduction, to get a job, medical care, government benefits, utilities, a cell phone, credit cards, car loans, or even a mortgage. Avoiding, discovering, and fixing the harm resulting from the theft of your child’s identity can be very difficult. The longer it takes to discover the theft, the more difficult it is to fix the problem.

Several signs can tip you off to a problem:

  • Calls and notices from collection agencies, offers for credit cards or insurance, bills from credit card companies or medical providers, or notification of bank account checks in your child’s name.
  • Your tax return listing your dependent child’s name and Social Security number is rejected because your child’s information is on another tax return.
  • A State agency, the Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or another government agency asks you to confirm your child’s employment.
  • Your family, or your child, is denied government benefits because of another account that is using your child’s Social Security number.
  • Your child gets an IRS notice saying he owes taxes on unreported income.

Too often parents think an offer to their child for a credit card is funny. They shouldn’t be laughing. They should be alarmed! They need to find out “Why” that company sent them the offer. They need to know what database lists their child as old enough to have credit. They then need to quickly start the long process (years) of cleaning up the mess.

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Identity Theft: NTA’s Most Serious Problems Facing Taxpayers

“Identity theft wreaks havoc on our tax system in many ways. The impact on victims is significant. More than 75 percent of taxpayers filing returns are due refunds, which average some $3,000 and are not paid until the IRS fully resolves a case. That now takes more than 6 months.” – Nina Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate

National Taxpayer Advocate Annual Report to Congress

 

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Could You be a Victim of Social Engineering?

Do You Put Your Birth Date on Facebook?

There are three pieces of Private Identifying Information thieves want:

Your Name

Do you have a nick name? Use it on social media rather than your legal name.

Your Birthday

If you don’t need to give your actual birth date, but they site needs one. Then give a fake date.

Your Social Security Number

Ask why do you need my Social Security Number? Most companies who ask for it don’t need it. Your doctor doesn’t need it.

Don’t give it, if you don’t need to.

Burglars want to know:

Where do you live

Turn-off location tagging on your photos.

When are you not home

Wait until you are home to post pictures of your vaction.

What do you own

Don’t post about your new TV, iPad or diamond ring.

Better Business Bureau: Burglary in the 21st century

BY TRISHA SEFAKIS: MANAGER, DIGITAL MEDIA – JANUARY 31, 2013

“According to my dad, back in the day burglars would use newspapers to find their next victims. They would scour the paper for weddings, funerals, family reunions, things that would take people out of their homes. With this information they would know when homes would be unoccupied and plan their crimes accordingly. Just imagine what social media has done to the business of “burglary”. Today you have Foursquare, Facebook check-in, Tripit and many other outlets that broadcast to the world your whereabouts, and subsequently when your home will be unoccupied.”

“People are not going to stop using these social applications, but there are ways they can use them safer. Here are a few tips. Check your privacy settings on Facebook to ensure only friends are seeing your activity. Only add actual friends to your social networks. Refrain from making announcements on social sites regarding extended trips. Don’t post pictures that reveal the address or location of your home. Don’t post pictures of expensive items in your home! Keep in mind the next time you post from your iPad that you can wait to leave for Cancun in the morning for 7 whole days! You just let the burglar know you would be gone, for how long, and that you have an iPad!”

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The best way to avoid Tax Identity Fraud

There is only one way to make sure you are not a victim of Tax Identity Fraud. You need to file your tax return before the Tax Thief files a return using your Social Security number! The first return wins.

If the thief is first, your return will not process. If you are first, the fraudulent return will not process. It’s as simple as “The First Return Wins“.

Do not delay. If you owe money, you can file today and mail the check on April 15th. Just do it!

If you need Tax Filing Software you can get it at Amazon by Clicking Here: Amazon Software

Over 5 Billion Dollars lost to Identity Thieves filing false 2011 Returns

There is a filing gap that thieves take advantage of to steal our tax dollars. Tax returns can be filed as early as January 15th, but businesses and institutions do not report to the IRS until March 31. Thus, the IRS does not know there is a problem until it is too late.

IRS also has systems problems. They do not seem to have the proper red flags in place to detect even obvious fraud. There were 21,000 returns filed to one address in Michigan which should have triggered an alert.

Nearly all of the false returns were filed electronically. The IRS needs to expand their Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) program to ALL tax returns filed electronically.

Indications your identity may have been stolen and how to report it to the IRS.

Your identity may have been stolen if you receive a letter from the IRS stating that …

… you filed more than one tax return.

… you have a balance due, refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file.

and / or

… you received wages from an employer you have not worked for.

If you receive such a letter from the IRS and you suspect your identity has been stolen, respond immediately to the name, address, phone number or fax listed on the IRS letter or contact the IRS to determine if the letter is a legitimate IRS letter.

If you become the victim of identity theft outside of the tax system or believe you may be at risk due to a lost/stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity or credit report, etc., you are encouraged to contact the IRS at the Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free at 800-908-4490 so we can take steps to further secure your account.

The IPSU hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. your local time (Alaska & Hawaii follow Pacific Time).

You will need to fill out the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039. Please be sure to write legibly and follow the instructions on the back of the form.

For Tax Filing Software at Amazon Click Here: Amazon Software

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