How To Prevent Christian Identity Theft
Knowing how to prevent Christian identity theft is critical to keep oneself from being a victim. In the past few years, identity theft has dramatically increased. Theft occurs when an individuals name, address, social security number, credit card, photo ID, and/or password is used without consent of that individual. Often times, stolen information and stolen identities may not be realized until months have gone by. Sometimes a year can pass without realizing that a persons information has been stolen and is being used by a thief, especially if they do not pay attention to their credit reports or billing statements. Gaining access to a persons data is easy. Besides the obvious methods of stealing, such as purse or wallet snatching, other means of gaining access to respective information may not be as obvious to some.
Three keys areas in which data can be taken is the trash, from a computer, and personal mail. Thieves will root through trash to find billing statements, credit card receipts, hospital records, and anything else that will have personal data on it. Mail can also be rerouted so checking with the local post office or companies sending statements should take place every few months too. An individuals computer is an easy way for theft to occur. A person can take a few precautions to teach the family and others on their computer how to prevent identity theft from occurring while on the computer. First, the individual needs to make sure those necessary safeguards, such as, a firewall and virus protectors are properly installed, working, and up-to-date. Second, awareness of the dangers of giving out personal information needs to be understood and discussed. Passwords should never be stored in or around the computer. Passwords should also never contain any private data, statistics, or names. Passwords should also be changed periodically. Unfortunately, in trying to educate people on how to prevent identity theft, information on how to steal this data becomes readily available to others. So, while protection is the key, the facts on how to steal become apparent even more to those who are in the business of snatching records.
Since identity theft is becoming so prevalent, country, state, and other government agencies are becoming more aware of how to prevent identity theft. These agencies offer useful information on how to recognize, prevent, and fix the situation. Even businesses and colleges are becoming proactive in the search of solutions and finding ways to deter thieves from gaining access to personal information. Banks, hospitals, doctors offices, and other businesses now have signs posted warning people of identity theft. Most office employees now know how to prevent identity theft. Since guarding personal data is top priority in these establishments, strict rules are being set and those not adhering to the signs are warned.
Business and personal care organizations can only offer an individual partial protection. Maintaining privacy and carefully guarding ones own records is a key fact on how to prevent identity theft. A person can be aware and live cautiously without being afraid to live. Taking proper steps to protect rights, history, and data and with being properly educated on how to prevent identity theft, an individual can live guarded but not fearful. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had know in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up (Matthew 24:43). As the verse shows, be ready. A thief will not warn of the coming. A thief will come. So, a house can be ready by being watchful and careful, not fearing that the time will come, but being ready IF the time comes, and taking steps of precaution so that a thief will be deterred in coming.
A person can be aware, be careful, and be prepared. By knowing how to prevent identity theft, anybody can make snatching personal data tougher for an identity crook. Anyone can take a few preemptive measures to control their life. One place to start in taking preemptive measures is know what a credit report is, and how to read it. Some companies offer the opportunity for an individual to review his or her credit report free. However, caution should be taken. A person should know the reputation of the company who is offering the free report. Basic research on the Internet, or simple word-of-mouth should clarify the integrity of an establishment.
Credit reports are best to be checked annually. Keeping abreast of personal information helps to protect ones past and future. Careful handling of financial matters, credit card and bank statements, and other private data offers protection too. One way to insure that private matters do not fall into the wrong hands is to shred all important and private documents. Shredders can be bought at a variety of different stores and come in all shapes, sizes, and costs. Companies are available to assist in document destruction. These companies are available to businesses and individuals alike. Most shredders are capable of also shredding credit cards. To be safer, a person should always shred old or seldom used cards. An individual should also limit the number of store and credit cards used or carried. One final tip for personal protection is to keep a copy of the front and back of all cards, birth certificates, any forms of ID, or other pertinent information. Should a thief steal a purse or wallet, the victim would have a copy of the stolen items. The victim can then immediately call and have their accounts frozen. Being aware creates a healthy readiness to allow a person to live, being protected, but not being fearful.
Christian Monitor CreditThe most efficient way to monitor credit is through a reputable surveillance company. Low-cost web-based agencies provide 24/7 screening of consumer reports to detect suspicious activity or fraud and help protect an individual's creditworthiness. In the good old days, a man's word was his bond and paying bills on time was a hallmark of honor. However, in the last decade charge card fraud and financial identity theft have become increasingly prevalent. Even individuals with perfect credit and honorable payment histories are being threatened by hackers and hoods who only want to take advantage of someone else's good name. "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold" (Proverbs 22:1). While consumers strive to maintain excellent credit scores and unmarred payment records, thieves spend all of their waking hours striving to gain access to personal and confidential information that can wreak havoc with a consumer's financial reputation.
Consumers who spend a lifetime diligently paying bills on time don't deserve to have a good name ruined by crooks that make an occupation out of robbing people blind. Victims of financial fraud can easily wind up losing jobs, homes, and livelihoods as a consequence of being demoralized and deprived of hard earned creditworthiness. While federal, state and local laws have become stricter, charge card criminals and ID bandits are not deterred from absconding with one of the most precious possessions anyone can ever have: a unique identity. Agencies which offer 24-hour online services to monitor consumer reports exercise diligence in detecting every wrong move a would-be credit bandit can make. When a creditworthy consumer's score begins to dip, it sends a red flag to surveillance agencies that something is seriously amiss. Surveillance agencies utilize sophisticated software to download reports from the nation's three reporting companies, monitor credit, and assess discrepancies which can indicate charge card fraud or impersonation for ill-gotten gain.
Hiring an agency to monitor credit is just one way to protect one's assets and fiscal future. Engaging the services of a reputable firm to provide twenty-four hour surveillance of consumer report activities provides peace of mind and a measure of insurance against fraudulent and unauthorized charge card use. By studying consumer reports, agents become familiar with an individual's spending habits, including each revolving charge or installment loan. If the amount of purchases within a certain time frame increase drastically or expensive items suddenly appear, the company hired to monitor credit expenditures and fluctuations can send the client an email alert. Monitoring software can detect when FICO scores drop or when unpaid balances remain on the books for too long. A series of charges that remain delinquent over several billing cycles might be a dead giveaway that either the owner has moved out of the country or that a thief is using the account illegally.
Firms which monitor credit also detect when new accounts are opened or when high-priced items are purchased. Evidence of whirlwind spending could reveal a round of newly opened accounts as if someone were on a shopping binge or splurging with abandonment. If clients have been consistent in making smaller purchases and paying off balances without incurring extra finance charges; but surveillance reveals that some accounts are remaining open for longer than 30 to 90 days, it is a fairly good chance that the client's credit has been compromised. Fraudulent practices also include charging items and having them delivered to addresses that do not match up with the client's; exorbitant spending on airline fares, hotel reservations, car rentals, or luxury vacations; or expenditures totaling thousands of dollars charged to a frugal client who has a history of charging smaller amounts.
What should someone do if charge card fraud or identity theft is suspected? Monitoring agencies will usually work with clients to notify creditors and begin tracking when and where charge accounts are being used. Merchants can keep a watchful eye out for accounts that have been tagged for suspicious activity; while store cameras and receipts are also tale-tell signs of fraudulent charge card usage. Aside from companies that monitor credit, store merchants who are alerted to the possibility of theft should ask for and carefully examine the identification of each customer using a charge account. Ask for more than one piece of identification, not just a driver's license. ID bandits can easily fabricate authentic looking licenses and Social Security cards using digital color copiers and design programs. Retailers should alert store clerks and supervisors to be on the lookout for individuals using accounts that have been closed due to suspected fraud.
In addition to hiring companies that monitor credit, Christian consumers should be vigilant when it comes to safeguarding personal data and confidential information. Keeping a watchful eye on charge account receipts and carbon copies, ensuring that Social Security and bank routing and account numbers remain out of site or earshot; and shredding documentation, receipts and statements which contain sensitive information are all surefire ways of discouraging ID bandits from getting away with monetary mayhem. Cyberspace banking will also eliminate the paper trail that entices most crooks to fish through trash receptacles and dumpsters and rob people of their identities. Opening online accounts and paying bills via secure Internet sites not only eliminates paper, but also provides an almost impenetrable location for sensitive financial data. Computer users can also monitor credit easier online and access reports on a regular basis if they opt not to hire a surveillance agency. Creditworthy consumers don't have to let charge account crooks and ID bandits hold their credit hostage and rob them of the ability to obtain financing. Hard work and due diligence should be rewarded with low-interest financing, especially for those who make a habit of letting their word be their bond and paying bills to merit a badge of credit honor.