Identity Theft, Identity Theft Protection, ID Theft
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How I prepare myself against an attack by Identity Thieves

By Amanda Randell
Published: Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

There are certain situations in our lives that cannot be prevented. You can never stop someone from stealing from you, much more from stealing your identity. Your identity is your most precious possession which can be easily taken from you so you should protect it. But in cases when these situations become inevitable, what better way to deal with it than to face it with your arms ready.

This is what I do. First, I read about the crime – how the thieves work, what kind of information they need and how they get it. That way, you will adopt a vigilant attitude towards your pertinent documents.

I guard my possessions or documents. Your wallet is perhaps the most vulnerable possession you have because it is the first target a thief will have to search for. Avoid placing important documents or IDs in your wallet, if possible even your credit card should be placed in other parts of your baggage. Be careful also with documents inside your house and when you bring them out. Do not place them in areas which can easily be accessed by passers-by.

I monitor my credit reports regularly. Credit reports are important documents that summarize a person’s financial assets and liabilities. You will be able to monitor your loans and mortgages and your payments to debts. Also, you will be able to see your current and newly opened accounts. If you have unauthorized charges to your credit or opened accounts, you will be able to detect it in your report.

Regular monitoring will allow you to detect identity theft early which may minimize the effects that the thieves can possibly cause.

I read about credit bureaus. Credit bureaus are the researching bodies responsible for your credit reports. If there are erroneous information written in your reports, it may be due to a mistake by the credit bureau or it may be due to identity theft so it is relevant for you to call the credit bureau for the misinformation to correct it and to find out if it is really the work of an identity thief. If it is the work of a thief, then applying for fraud alerts will have to be done with a credit bureau.

In the United States, there are three national credit bureaus namely, Transumion, Esperian and Equifax. They each provide a free credit report every year so that a consumer may review his credit report thrice a year. Sometimes, the span of monitoring your credit reports thrice a year is not enough so you may want to apply for extra reports but with a fee. Know which credit bureau you would trust and would like to order credit reports from.

Apply for identity theft protection services if you feel the need to. These protection services are now available in the market and especially online. If you feel that this service will enhance your protection against the crime, then avail of it. Of course, this comes with a price but who knows how much a thief may be able to take from you if he gets the chance because you were not prepared?

If you are prepared for an identity theft, then the possible damages may be at a minimum so do all you can to prepare for the storm ahead.

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