Friday, April 16, 2010

ID theft lecture today

A representative from the NC DOJ was on site to day discussing ID theft. I took some notes. Enjoy.

  • Get a single free credit report 3 times a year rather than all 3 at once. So go to the site Jan. April, and Oct.
  • Credit security freeze is free in NC, good thing to do. Should do it. Reduces the need to check the credit report. A credit freeze can be unfrozen in 30 minutes with a phone call and a pin number.
    • note - can't get instant credit at the register... you know for the 10% off at the register, so if that is your thing.....
  • Even with a freeze a thief can use your Social Security number to gain employment. Check your yearly Social Security statements - to see if income is higher than expected.
  • don't carry Social Security card in your wallet, who does that?
  • don't carry your Medicare card - it has the Social Security number. 
    • Try this: carry a xerox copy with the number partially blacked out, you know the rest.
    • More important to carry list of meds and primary care provider's name and number. Hospital staff can treat you more appropriately with this information.
  • Destroy documents you don't need - keep stuff around for 7 years (broad rule of thumb)
    • See -> events, shred-a-thon! These are industrial shredders - fast and no need to worry about staples binders etc. Paper is recycled.
And finally, one long running debate put to rest:
  • Of cash, check, debit, or credit card, the credit card is safest for all purchases. Reasons:
    • Cash and check can be stolen - $$ is gone
    • Using a debit card means that if the number is stolen, the thief is spending your actual cash.
    • If you use a credit card, you're risking the credit card companies money not yours. 

I learned something, did you?

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