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As online communications and electronic commerce continue to grow, identity theft has reached new criminal proportions. Identity thieves now do much more than simply steal credit card numbers from discarded paper receipts; they use sophisticated computer technologies to illegally obtain your financial assets and can potentially ruin your credit history.

Identity thieves steal personal identifying information, such as names, addresses, date of birth, social security numbers, credit card numbers and driver’s license numbers, and use this personal information to fraudulently obtain cash and credit, goods, services and other property, including insurance policies.

Some of their criminal tactics include opening phony bank accounts or stealing from established ones, obtaining unauthorized credit cards and insurance policies, applying for car or house loans, and leasing apartments with false names.

Here are 10 tips that can help in preventing Identity Theft.

  1. Shred or tear up personal financial documents before discarding them.

  2. Do not print personal identifiers such as your social security number, date of birth or driver’s license number on your checks.

  3. Use your social security number only when necessary.

  4. Before revealing any information online, ensure the website is securely protected (a yellow padlock symbol will be present in the corner of your computer screen on secured websites).

  5. Before revealing any information to another person, ask how it will be used.

  6. Do not provide personal, financial or identifying information to an unknown telephone caller.

  7. Pay attention to billing cycles. Identity thieves may reroute bills to another address to hide criminal activities.

  8. Carefully review your monthly credit card statements, checking for any unauthorized use.

  9. Obtain a copy of your credit report at least once a year to check for errors.

  10. Minimize the number of cards and identifying information you carry, especially your social security card and passport.

It pays to be cautious with any information about yourself.  And, you should be aware that insurance coverage is available on most Michigan homeowners insurance policies and some business insurance. policies that can pay for expenses associated with recovering stolen identity.

The professionals at Insurance Planning Service, can let let you know what is available on your policy.  Call us today at 800.220.5582 or contact us on the web using our simple contact form.

Article source: National Insurance Crime Bureau
Image source: hitsjournal.net

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Lighthouse Group Main Office in Grand Rapids, MI
Mailing Address | P.O. Box 530009, Livonia, MI 48153

Phone: 734.421.9900 | Toll Free: 800.220.5582 | Fax: 734.421.9911

Also serving these Detroit area communities in Michigan: Livonia, Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Southfield, Plymouth, Canton, Westland, Northville, Novi, Dearborn, South Lyon & Walled Lake