Commentary

Here are steps to deal with identity theft

This year’s Milam Country Triad annual meeting’s program focused on identity theft. If you have been victimized, then you realize just how serious and expensive it is to regain your good name.

There are sleepless nights, legal fees, the hours of mental pain and suffering.

Your security can be shattered. Without warning someone shops but they use your card rather than their own.

The obligation to pay these debts are your responsibility and the fact that you did not receive the goods makes no difference.

This theft may cause you to lose your job or cause the door of opportunity to be slammed in your face.

When you apply for a loan for a new car, education, or other financial needs, you will be denied. Ask yourself: Should I be concerned about identity theft? Do I understand the damage done by this criminal act? Do I want this problem passed on to my family?

What do I really know about how con artists work? How do these thieves work? What precautions are necessary in reclaiming my life and restoring my credit?

Where do I go for help? What actions should I take and who or what organizations can help me? Are there programs provided to help me educate myself about this crime, so I can avoid them These questions and more were answered during the program by Pat Foster of Citizens National Bank in Cameron.

Victims of identity theft should take immediate steps as soon as unauthorized purchases show up on your statements.

Step 1—Place a fraud alert with the credit company. Reporting time is very important because the quicker these illegal transactions are registered the less use the criminal has to build your debt.

Step 2— Close the accounts involved a nd e st ablish new accounts.

Step 3—File a police report with the proper authorities where the theft took place.

Step 4—File a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) . The FTC publishes a free booklet “Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft.”

It has telephone numbers of agencies victims need.

Brochures with more information were at the general meeting. This crime may touch a family member or a friend or for a stranger that crosses your path, for that matter.

Arrangements for making these free publications available to you are in the mill. When details are completed, you will be notified.

If this is information you need now, and you do not need to wait, call (512)455-3635 or see Pat Foster at the Citizens National Bank in Cameron.

Just tell her that MCT sent you for the identity theft data. ted@myalpha1.net


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2011-11-10 digital edition



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