Identity Theft for Consumers

Group presentations are availabe at your facility, for more information call Bob Pearce at (661) 400-3813. Follow this link to view the material covered in this 2 to 3 hour workshop as well times and dates of future classes. .
Course Syllabus   Times & Dates

The subject of identity theft can be broken down into four areas. First, what one can do beforehand to make make it harder for someone to steal your identity. Think of this step as protecting your identity or reputation. Secondly, how to determine someone has in fact stolen your identity. This second part in much easier, as external events in your life will usually tell you something is wrong and in a big way. The goal here is to train oneself to recognize the breach sooner in order to limit and contain the damage before is spreads to other parts of your life. Next, and for the few unfortunate souls among us who learn this third part of the subject in infinite detail - is what do to when it happens to you. In other words how to reverse the damage.

This information is also an over lap of our third section, since after a breach has be detected, one must act and act quickly to contain the damage. The goal here is to have a dress rehersal, or check list made out in advance. So if and when disaster strikes there should be absolutely NO question in your mind about everything that needs to be done. This will require you to have collected all the important finacial information in one place ahead of time. And finally, every good treatment of Identity theft will include a list of invaluable resoureces you can read at your lesiure. Most of this information is in the form of web sites and organizations. Some of which you will want to contact now, whether you do or do not continue your readings in Idenitiy Theft - Prevention, Dectection & Damage Repair.

1. ID Theft Prevention - habits, practices, tools and situational awareness
2. Detecting ID Theft, the sooner the better- increasing your detective skills
3. ID Theft Damage Repair - what needs to be done, when to do it, how to execute & why
4. ID Theft resources to rely upon now and in the future - resources to effectively execute steps 1, 2 and 3

For a copy of your free credit report go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the threee nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Each of these three companies offer 1 free credit report yearly. So, chose a different company every 4 months and monitor your credit well.

There are two books on Identity Theft that are recommended . The first is a mandatory read for everyone. The second book is to be used if and when ID Theft occurs in your life. The two books, are both written by Mari Frank, an attorney who unfortunately became a victim of Identity theft herself. The first book, "Safeguard Your Identity: Protect Yourself With A Personal Privacy Audit" will teach you exactly how to guard against all types of opportunites ID theft villians hope you will provide them with. Don't give them the chance. Just don't.

Learn from her experiences and have all the tools at your disposal to guard against Identity theft. More importantly, if it happens to you, here is the second book "Victim to Victor" which will walk you through the process step by step in clearing your good credit and undoing the damage left behind.

Please visit the Identity Theft Prevention and Survival web site at www.identitytheft.org which has over 70 pages of free information. You may also find information about Mariís mediation and training at www.marifrank.com. And last but not least check out the Privacy Rights Clearnghouse for more information in one place than you could ever imagine about Your Rights as a consummer should Identity Theft Strike.

Remember, it is prevention, detection and recovery from ID theft that everyone needs to learn. For classes on Identity Theft in your area call (661) 400-3813.

A word about recent identity theft products

Recent headlines about data breaches and losses of personal information have prompted many companies to advertise products or services to help consumers prevent or minimize their risk of identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, says before you pay for an identity theft prevention product or service, make sure you understand exactly what you're paying for. Many people find value and convenience in paying an outside party to help them exercise their rights and protect their information. At the same time, some rights and protections you have under federal or state laws can help you protect your identity and recover from identity theft at no cost. Knowing and understanding your rights can help you determine whether - or which - commercial products or services may be appropriate for you.

Identity theft protection companies offer a range if products and services for sale. Some allow you to "lock," "flag," or "freeze" your credit reports. Often, the companies advertising these services simply are offering to place a fraud alert or credit freeze on your report. These services also may renew or update your alerts or freezes automatically, as long as you continue to pay. Under the law, initial fraud alerts and renewals are available for free if you have reason to believe you have been - or are about to be - a victim of identity theft. Some companies, including consumer reporting companies, offer subscriptions to credit monitoring services. These services track your credit report, and generally send you an email alert reflecting recent activity, such as an inquiry or new account. Typically, the more frequent or more detailed the report, the more expensive the service.

Some companies offer services to help you rebuild your identity in the event of identity theft. Typically, these services operate by obtaining a limited power of attorney from you, which enables the company to act on your behalf when dealing with consumer reporting companies, creditors, or other information sources. Many companies may offer additional services, . including removing your name from mailing lists for pre-screened offers of credit or insurance, representing your legal interests, "guaranteeing" . reimbursement in the event you experience a loss due to identity theft, or helping you track down whether your personal information has been exposed online. Before you agree to pay for any of these services, read the fine print. You can get some of them yourself it no cost: for example, if you decide you don't want to receive pre-screened offers of credit and insurance, you can opt out for five years or permanently by calling toll-free 1-888-5-0PTOUT (l-888-567-8688) or visiting www.optoutprescreen.con