ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ways to avoid Identity Theft

Updated on September 4, 2008

Identity Theft skyrocketing

Identity theft is on the top of the list when it comes to the fastest growing crime in the United States and it's effects can be felt globally. According to the Federal Trade Commission over 1 million people were victims in 2007. The most troubling factor is that each victim has to spend sometimes years and hundreds of dollars trying to clear their name.

Safeguards to avoid Identity Theft

* Don't disclose any of your personal information until you know exactly how it will be used and find out if it intended to be shared with third parties.

* Be familiar with your credit card billing cycles so you can call your creditors if a bill has not arrived on time . A missing bill can perhaps mean that someone has stolen it from your mailbox. (If you are going to be gone out of town for an extended time,place a vacation hold on all your mail with the Post Office. Also if you're gone for just a couple of days have a trusted neighbor or relative that lives close by to retrieve your mail for you).

*If your credit card has expired and you have not received a new one,call your credit card company right away.

* To alleviate having mail stolen place a lock on your mailbox.

* Have your name,address and phone numbers removed from marketing list by going to the Direct Marketing Association's website( Your name will be removed from most lists but not all.

*Shred all documents that have any personal information on them. Just ripping by hand is not good enough because theives are very good at going through the trash and splicing documents back together....they have nothing to loose and everything to gain with your information(unless there caught).

*Order a copy of your credit report from all three reporting agencies in the U.S. They are Equifax(800-685-1111) or Experian (888-397-3742) or and Transunion(800-888-4213) or

Note: Be aware that you are entiltled to one free credit report per year. The web address is

* Subscribe to a credit monitoring service for a fee. With this service you will be notified within 24 hours or less if there has been any change activity on you credit report that you haven't initiated.

* Identity theft Insurance is now availabe to help victims restore their name and good credit. Please be aware that this insurance may not be available in all states.

Personal Responsibility

* Do not put your Social Security or Drivers license numbers on your personal check

* Avoid using your mother's name, last 4 of your Social Security number or your birth date as passwords for credit or debit cards,or other bills you pay online that may have payment information stored.

* Don't hand the bad guy or gal your personal checks by having new checks mailed to you. Pick them up at the bank is a much wiser choice.

If You fall Victim

None of us wants to become a casualty of identity theft, but if you do,here is what you must do right away.

1. Contact your credit card company and/or bank and close your account and re-assign new passwords on new accounts. Make sure that the institution you are contacting knows the reason for your actions.

2. Contact all three credit bureaus and have them put a "fraud alert on your file. Also add to your file a "victims" statement" which will automatically trigger creditors to contact you before a new account is opened in your name.

3. Last but not least,contact your local police and file a report stating all the specifics of where the identity theft took place. When the report is completed,ask for a copy to show proof to your banks,etc.

4. Cancel all current savings and checking accounts and open new ones. If your account carrys a ATM card,get a new one and new password.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      8 years ago from Charlotte, NC


      Just thought I would let you know that you have some very good info on here!!

      thanks for sharing this with us. I can learn a lot form this hub page.

      Keep up the good work.

    • laringo profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      privateeye, thanks for the comments. I'm going to check out your Hub now.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      It's good! People need to be as aware as possible regarding all the pit-falls.

      There are several very good hubs on this subject.

      Here is one I wrote a while back - it has a few different slants at a different angle.

      Keep writing ;}


    • laringo profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Thank you....I try to make my information beneficial.

    • earnestshub profile image


      10 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you. Very helpful and usefull links and information.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      this is by far the most informative and inteligent i have seen so far.

      nicely done


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)