Sunday, March 14, 2010

Helpful Tips-Identity Theft

Just to give a brief history. My mother was a victim of identity theft twice by the same people. Fortunately, the individuals were caught. Unfortunately, the first time, the individuals took a plea bargain, only to commit identity theft against my mother the second time (4 months after being released from jail). The second time, one of the individuals only served 3 months.

I thought that I would help others by posting some things that I feel were important.

This week, I will post some of the things that you should know and what you can do with your bank.

1. Create a secret pin number that someone else can not figure out easily. Do not use the last 4 digits of your social security number for the password for your bank. The individuals were able to change my mom's address over the phone because they had her SS number.

2. Create an online account if possible, so that you can monitor your accounts. Since my mother didn't have a computer, nor did she want one, she didn't have an online account. The individuals created an online account, from which facilitated their fraudulent activities.

3. Go paperless. My mother's bank statements were stolen from her mailbox. My mother noticed that statements were missing, but had no idea it was because of theft from her mailbox. You are also helping out the environment as well.

4). I just remembered another point about the bank. Banks send out blank checks. The name of what they are called escapes me at the moment. Anyways, my mother received blank checks from her credit card companies. My mom had used them before and that may be the reason why they continued to send the checks in the mail. The checks allowed my mother to write a check to pay for work done at her home, without using her credit card. The payee would cash the check, and my mother would see the charge on her Visa bill. The individuals had a field day with these checks, and one even paid her mom's bills using the checks. We were able to request for the credit card company to stop sending the blank checks in the mail. It takes several weeks or more before you will see the results.

I will have more tips coming in the future. Please pass these tips on to others. My mother was not the only one that was affected from these individuals. I was told that there were around 100 others. If you already do these tips, then I applaud you.

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