Identity Theft is on the Rise – Two Ways to Protect Yourself

Identity Theft is on the Rise – Two Ways to Protect Yourself

Experian Home Page Image

Experian Home Page

I was recently an attempted victim of identity theft, where someone had gotten ahold of my debit card’s information and tried to buy things using it. Fortunately, my bank was able to protect me. But what do you do when thieves manage to get personal details and try to open credit accounts in your name? That’s full blown identify theft and you’re going to be in for a world of hurt.

Lots of companies are offering credit monitoring services where for a nominal fee they’ll alert you if your credit score changes. That’s really nice of them to let you know after the fact. Some may even have services to “fix” your credit should you become a victim – a type of credit insurance if you will.

I’m a believer that you need to be proactive instead of reactive. Here are two tips that you can use to protect your identity without having to pay an arm and a leg to do so:

[Read more…]

My Debit Card Number Was Stolen – Don’t Be a Victim

My Debit Card Number Was Stolen – Don’t Be a Victim

Like many people, I have an ATM/Debit card that I use for a variety of purchases and to occasionally use to get cash out of an ATM.

However, I was recently the victim of attempted fraud where someone had gotten ahold of my debit card information (number, expiration, etc.), put it on a fake card and attempted to use it. One small problem for the criminal, my bank, USAA, uses advanced technologies to monitor my  accounts and I was notified of the fraudulent activity almost immediately. According to the fraud analyst I spoke with, someone in Florida attempted to buy $100+ of product at a Wal-Mart using a physical card. Fortunately, they declined the charge and alerted me. I imagine that the red flags went off when I used my card on the same day in California and minutes later the attempt was made in Florida.

Which begs the question, what can you do to protect yourself from such a crime? Here are some tips:

[Read more…]