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Two Easy Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

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Identity Theft is No Joke!

You’ve surely heard about why you need identity theft protection. A carelessly tossed receipt or lost credit card that falls into the wrong hands can ruin your financial life. Fraudulent emails asking for personal information like Social Security numbers or bank account numbers are obvious tip-offs that an identity thief is lurking and trying to make you a victim.Legal Shield associate Aaron Orndorff of Winchester, VA, is ready to help with your legal needs!

Identity theft is scary. It can happen quietly, and often by the time you become aware of it, severe damage has already been done to your credit. In extreme cases, law-abiding people have been hunted by the FBI for crimes committed by someone else who used their names and information. Victims of identity theft can spend years upon years trying to rebuild their credit, and the smear on their credit history hampers their ability to get loans in the future. So what can the average person do to ensure that personal information is kept personal, and to guard against possible identity theft? Here are two easy suggestions that will help you get the jump on identity thieves.

1.) Look at your credit reports. These reports contain the kind of information an identity thief is interested in, and the statistics that you should have a good understanding of (in terms of identity theft protection). The report shows what accounts you have and how you pay your bills.  The law allows you to obtain a free version of this report at least once a year. If an identity thief is operating with your information, this report will show it in some way. So review your credit reports. Look for any benchmarks that would tell you of possible identity theft, like inquiries from companies you haven’t contacted, accounts you didn’t open, and debits on accounts that can’t be explained. Check to see that all personal information is correct and that an identity thief hasn’t tampered with it.

2.) Review your financial statements.  Look at your accounts and billing statements on a regular basis. Watch for any changes that seem odd, like debits that you can’t account for and other things that could be the sign of possible identity theft.

It’s sad, but many people never find out that their personal information has been stolen until after an identity thief has done damage. You may only find out after bills or debts that you never incurred go to a collection agency, and at that point it’s too late for identity theft protection. You might only learn of a bad credit history when you are refused a car loan or mortgage, or when you open your mail to find a letter about a house you never owned, an apartment you never rented, or a job you never held. All these cases demand you investigate possible identity theft immediately.

To avoid headaches and financial difficulties, get familiar with your credit history and credit reports now, so that you’ll notice any problems as they crop up. And make sure that you have the ability to call on legal support to assist you right away should the worst happen. Contact me today and have the peace of mind that comes with having a Legal Shield!

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