There are many ways to find you are the victim of identity theft. You can find out after you are turned down for a loan or after you start getting strange bills for items you never purchased. Here is another, more traumatic way to discover that your identity has been stolen.
Imagine. You are driving to dinner with your wife and kids and suddenly a police officer pulls you over for a broken tail light. He sits behind you for a few minutes, running your plates for warrants.
When he approaches the car he addresses you by name, naturally you respond. Next thing you know you are handcuffed in the back of the police car! Why?
According to police records, you were cited for speeding and failed to show for your court date.
After investigating further, you find you are the victim of identity theft. Unfortunately, you have to assume the burden of clearing your name. The police will not.
How can you protect yourself? Start with these three rules.
- Check your credit report frequently, at least yearly.
- Shred all personal and official correspondence before placing in the trash.
- Report any discrepancies immediately!
Nothing can guarantee you will not become a victim of identity theft, but you can take positive action to reduce the risks. The only question is, will you?
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