IDENTITY THEFT

WHEN NOT TO GIVE OUT YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER

“Your Social Security number is one of the keys to your financial health. It’s a unique indentifier lenders use to assess your creditworthiness. It’s also exactly what a would-be thief needs to apply for a credit card, mortgage, car loan or job in your name.  If you’re like most Americans, it’s also something you give out all too frequently.  “As with so many procedures in the business world, your Social Security number is something that many companies ask for, so no one really questions it,” says James Van Dyke, president of Javelin Strategy & Research, a research firm that tracks financial services topics. “But giving out your Social Security number is definitely a practice consumers should think twice about.”

http://customsites.yahoo.com/financiallyfit/finance/article-108911-4270-3-when-you-should-and-shouldnt-give-out-your-social-security-number?ywaad=ad0035

IDENTITY FRAUD NIGHTMARE—ONE PERSON’S STORY

http://www.philly.com/philly/business/personal_finance/021610_id_theft.html

“In fewer than six months, $900,000 in merchandise, gambling and telephone-services charges were siphoned out of his debit card. His attempts to salvage his finances have cost him nearly $100,000 and have bled dry his savings and retirement accounts. His credit score, once a strong 780, has been decimated. And his identity – Social Security number, address, phone numbers, even historical information – is still being used in attempts to open credit cards and bank accounts.  “I have no identity,” said Crouse, 56. “I have no legacy. My identity is public knowledge and even though it’s ruined, they’re still using it.”

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