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The Shocking Story Line of Child Identity Theft

You need to know the statistics behind child identity theft:

  • 1 in 10 Children are targeted for identity theft
  • A child is 51X more likely to become a victim of identity theft than an adult
  • Schools, foster parents, friends, family and acquaintences are often the culprits behind the theft of a child’s identity.

Now that you know the stats, here’s the story on how it happens and solutions to keep it from affecting you.

Check out CSID.com for the original story and info-graphic.

Identity Theives Don't Take A Holiday

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The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the biggest shopping time of the year. As we enter the season of giving there is one thing we should be stingy with – protecting our Identities!

Holiday madness, crazed shoppers and packed malls. While we are bustling from store to store and internet site to internet site trying to complete everyone’s holiday list, thieves and scammers are taking our distraction as a signal to strike. According to the author of Privacy Means Profit and identity theft expert John Sileo, “This is the easiest time of year for thieves to steal wallets, break into houses and profit financially from the season of giving without victims detecting it for a long time.”

With just three weeks until Christmas, now is the time to protect yourself and make sure that your Identity is safe from potential thieves. Just last month, Sileo was hired to speak to the Department of Defense and included some of the most important Holiday Safety Prevention Tips:

* Don’t trust your email. There are so many holiday scams by email that you should read everything with an enormous grain of salt. If someone is promising you something for nothing (free gift, free money, etc.), don’t buy it.
* Protect your home. Your greatest risk during the busyness is all of the extra people that come into your home. It makes it very easy to pocket a check book that’s on your desk or a brokerage statement in your filing cabinet. Especially during the holidays, lock it up!
* Use your credit card. Don’t use checks and don’t use a debit card, as they don’t give you nearly as much protection.
* Carry less in your wallet. It is too easy to steal a purse that is sitting at your feet as you pay or have lunch. The very best advice is to take your drivers license and one or two credit cards with you shopping.
* Watch your statements. Most forms of holiday identity theft can be caught simply by monitoring your checking, debit and credit card accounts frequently. Even better, sign up for automatic account alerts when any transaction occurs on your account.
* Give yourself the gift of Identity Monitoring.
* Shop on secure websites. Make sure that both the https:// and lock symbols appear in your browser.
* Be cautious in public. Don’t give your credit card number (or Social Security Number) over the phone if someone is within earshot.  Shield your PIN number when entering it at an ATM or card swipe.
* Donate to known charities and only when you have initiated the gift. Don’t respond to phone calls for charity.
* Rotate your credit cards. After the busy holiday shopping season is over, call your credit card company and ask them to issue you a new card (you can tell them that you are concerned that your credit card number was stolen).
* Don’t advertise travel plans to burglars on Social Networking sites.

Distraction is the worst enemy when it comes to crime and the holidays. In addition to spending more money, we tend to be busier, more stressed-out and less careful than other times of the year.  Identity thieves take advantage of this distraction to perform information extraction.

Identity theft expert John Sileo speaks around the world on identity theft, privacy, social networking exposure, cyber crime, social engineering and other forms of information theft. His clients include the Department of Defense, Blue Cross, FDIC, Pfizer and hundreds of organizations of all sizes. Contact him directly on 800.258.8076 or at www.ThinkLikeASpy.com.

Identity Theft Prevention this Holiday Season

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AAA Hawaii’s Annual Holiday Season Travel and Shopping Poll of 250 local residents reveals that 76% plan to primarily shop this holiday with credit or debit cards. However, almost four in ten of surveyed shoppers have little or no concern about identity fraud happening to them this holiday shopping season! Identity theft is rampant throughout the holiday season. Over the past 3 years stolen data being used in less than one week jumped from 33% to 71%, meaning that they steal today and shop today.  Identity thieves count on our lackadaisical attitude toward monitoring our wealth.

Not only does legitimate business pick up during the holiday season, but Identity theft and fraudulent Business seems to be on the rise as well. Especially during these hard economic times Identity thieves are on the prowl more than ever looking for a quick fix to their financial problems.  It is just not possible to observe and ward off every threat to our identity. There will be documents that you forget to destroy or lock up, accounts that you won’t cancel, checks that you will mail, and waiters that will disappear with your credit card. It is not practical to think that we can cover every situation that threatens the safety of our identity. But we are not helpless in these situations.

Like an experienced spy, we have a solid backup plan. It is extremely important to monitor the key components of our identity especially during the Holidays. Over 50% of all Identity theft is self detected. Here are a few tips to stay safe and keep an eye out for Identity Fraud this Holiday Season:

Monitor Your Credit Report Look for any suspicious activity or unknown accounts. If you find anything new that you haven’t applied for contact the responsible financial institution immediately.

Credit Monitoring Services Services that companies offer make it easy to ensure that fraudsters aren’t accessing your personal information, accounts, or credit. Allowing them to do it for you will put you more at ease this Holiday Season.

Sign up for Account Alerts This way you will know immediately if anyone is making fraudulent charges on your account.

Switch to Online Statements This way you can more easily access your accounts throughout the month rather than waiting until the end of the month for a statement.

 

Read More About Protecting Your Identity During the Holidays.

John Sileo became America’s Top Identity Theft Speaker & Expert after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about bringing John to your next meeting or event, contact him directly on 800.258.8076.

Identity Monitoring Services

CSIdentity Protector Tri-Bureau

Only 25%  of identity theft can be detected by traditional credit report monitoring, which means that you need a more sophisticated service than the average offering (LifeLock). If you are time starved, convenience based or just simply want a comprehensive way to detect the inappropriate use of your data, you need to enlist an identity monitoring service. It’s similar to having someone monitor your home alarm system.

Here’s a bit of background. Traditional credit monitoring only detects a portion of identity theft. The remaining theft happens on non-credit loan activities (pay-day loans, etc), as part of public records (court cases, real estate transactions, government filings, etc.), over the internet (bought and sold on identity-for-sale sites), or in relation to medical or criminal records. It is important to monitor these forms of potential identity theft as well as your credit file. CSIdentity’s Protector Tri-Bureau product wins the award for Best-in-Class identity monitoring based on 7 criteria: Read more