Take a look at this Washington Post article on ID Theft and tell me it doesn’t make you a little paranoid.
I wasn’t surprised that identity theft happens to 11.1 million victims a year for a total of $54 billion. I wasn’t surprised that 55% of identity theft victims will never know how it happened. I wasn’t even that surprised that 18-24 year olds were hit the hardest since they take the longest to catch on (132 days on average) and share much more about themselves online than we old folks do.
I was surprised how easy it is to find out who someone is so you can steal their identity.
According to this article, most people can be tracked down by simply knowing their sex, zip code, and date of birth. That’s creepy. Especially since all of you know my sex, my general location, and my general age…hmmm. I will now be skipping any Happy Birthday posts I had in mind. 🙂
Please keep yourself safe. At the very least, take a look at your accounts and credit reports on a regular basis. You are entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the three main bureaus – Transunion, Experian, and Equifax. I use the official site: Annualcreditreport.com. Since all three companies list the similar information, space out your reports every four months in order to maximize the number of times you can check on your status.
If you want to be really up to date on what’s going on with your credit reports, you can even choose to sign up for a credit report monitoring service. Fees may apply but it’s an option for those that may not remember to check regularly.
How about you? Ever had your identity stolen? If so, what did you have to do to get everything straightened out?
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 a year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, a rental home, and professional pet sitting. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. This all gives me the time to be with my aging family members, the flexibility to stay close with my friends and family, and it should help if we finally get pregnant too! Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!