YOUR Information First
May 2008 / issue #10

In this issue:

• Latest ID Theft News
Feature Article
Facts and Stats
Scam Central
More Resources


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Schools Out , Summer Vacation Is In and ID Theft Risks Increase
By Mark Pribish

Now that the school year has either ended or is ending for most families across the United States, it might be a good time to think about the growing trend of identity theft.

While there are ways of protecting you and your family from identity theft -- particularly with summer vacation approaching – most individuals and families need to take extra precaution. Unsuspecting families have been targeted by identity thieves for years -- and there are simple and easy steps anyone can take to protect themselves from identity theft.

During the summer season, you can use the following checklist to protect you and your identity – as well as the identity of family members:

>>Read On...


Over 226 million data records of U.S. residents have been exposed
due to data security breaches since February 2005


Beware of the "Tax Rebate Scam" 

    If you haven’t already received your stimulus rebate checks, be sure you avoid two schemes thieves are using to steal your money and personal information.

    How It Works:
    In the first scheme, a thief calls your home, pretending to be an agent from the IRS, and informs you that you are eligible for a large rebate. The thieves then ask for your personal information, checking account number and routing number so they can empty out your bank accounts and commit other fraud.  

    The second scheme comes in the form of an e-mail message that appears to come from the IRS. The message instructs you to click on a link to a fake website and complete a rebate form that requests personal information. The thieves then use your information to gain access to your bank account and credit cards.

    Your Defense:
    Remember: The IRS will never make an unsolicited request for your personal information over the phone or through e-mail so do not reveal any personal or account information to individuals who contact you
      in this manner.

    To protect yourself against potential identity thieves, always take the following precautions:

    • Be skeptical of communications you receive from sources you are not expecting. Verify the authenticity of phone calls, standard mail, faxes or e-mails of questionable origin before responding.
    • Do not transfer funds or reveal secret passwords, PINs or other security-based data to third parties; genuine organizations or institutions do not need your secret data for ordinary business transactions.
    • Do not open attachments to e-mails of possibly questionable origin, since they may contain viruses that will infect your computer.

    If you believe your identity has been stolen, call 866.SMART68 today.


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