Identity Theft Information
(Helpful information regarding Identity theft and credit card fraud)

Updated: 6/20/07

During mid-June, 2007, a news story broke regarding the theft of social security numbers and financial information for every State of Ohio employee.  The "experts" said that this data is stored in a format that makes it difficult for the thief to use it.  However, the State of Ohio immediately purchased Identity Theft Protection for every State employee at a cost somewhere around $631,000!

This has created a mad rush by people to protect their identities and to protect themselves against credit card fraud.  As with most things, there are some good companies and there are some rip-off companies as well.  I am in the process of reviewing and selecting a service for my family and business and will update this page, once I have made my selection.

I have also discovered some things you can do for free to get a little bit of a handle on protecting your identity.  Here is what I have discovered thus far:

1. The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a portion of their website dedicated to identity theft.  This is excellent, so be sure to read it.

Website: (idtheft)

2. The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a web page that discusses getting access to your free credit reports.  You are permitted, by Federal law, to request a report once each year.  Since there are 3 major credit reporting companies, some people stagger their requests (once every 4 months) so that they have a continual flow of free credit reports coming in throughout the year.

Read the entire page.  This is good stuff!


3. This is the website mentioned by the FTC site in Item #2 that actually processes your free credit report requests.


Be sure to read the Frequently Asked Questions page on the above website.  Very good information here, such as info on "fraud alerts!"  (See Item #4, below)

4. Fraud Alerts, once set up, require creditors to contact you before you can be issued credit.  While it slows the credit approval process down a bit, it can greatly reduce the likelihood that credit will be issued in your name to someone else.   You need to renew this every 90 days.

Read this USAToday article about fraud alerts.

If you have additional thoughts to share, e-mail me:  b_i_l_l_@_g_o_l_d_e_n_w_e_b_s_._b_i_z
(you will have to remove all the underscores)

I hope you find this of value to you and thanks, in advance, for your thoughts!