Preventing identity theft

By Brett Anderson

St. Croix Advisors

Guard your identity. Here are the steps to take:

I know you’ve heard it before; identity theft can happen at any time without you being aware of it for years. This, however, is an awful fact that we need to proactively protect ourselves from.

Identity theft can cause more harm then you realize, including mountains of credit card debt, bad credit and years of precious time wasted to reclaim your own name. One of the main misconceptions about proactively working on protecting yourself and your family is that it is too expensive. While there are higher-end plans to protect your identity there are also free plans. That’s right, I said free.

Identity theft has become such a problem there are now parts of government, as well as private industries who are willing to help the average citizen. All you have to do is request it.

Most of the programs allow for you to pay more if you are interested in a higher-end protection option, but to jump start you and your family you can use this as a resource to begin your planning.

These identity theft protection groups will monitor you credit for free. Place a fraud alert on your credit with each bureau. (This is also a free service): If your social security number is fraudulently used (or you suspect your social security number has been compromised, but not yet fraudulently used), contact the Social Security Administration’s fraud hotline: 1-800-680-7289 or 1-800-269-0270

For your free credit card score: Stop pre-approved credit cards: These are a few ways to protect yourself and your family. By informing yourself about your credit and identity you will protect yourself in the future.

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