Protect Yourself From Identity Theft – OCNJ Daily | CarTailz

Put a “lock” on your credit information. (Photo courtesy of


The changing economic environment has reduced our purchasing power at the grocery store, at the gas pump and when shopping online. As a result, more of our daily coffee dollars remain safely tucked away in our wallets and purses.

We should all adopt a similar mindset to actively protect our credit profiles from thieves. Your criminal acts, historically multiplying during tough fiscal times, can irreparably damage your credit rating for years to come.

Here are ways to thwart the loan thieves.

Protect your card’s information:

The ease of paying by credit, either in person or online, cannot be denied. However, this convenience can come at a price if you are not careful with your plastic.

Most cards now issued in the US are chip enabled. Instead of swiping your card’s magnetic stripe as in years past, the consumer will insert (or “dip”) their card into the retailer’s terminal, which assigns a unique code to that transaction.

This technique provides better protection for one’s credit information, as it makes it more difficult for criminals to “cloning” a credit card account number. As not all laws have caught up with this technology yet, not all retailers are required to upgrade their terminals.

However, new laws may impose 100 percent liability on retailers who have not yet upgraded if a data breach and resulting damages can be proven by a customer who visited a facility that still had a point-of-sale service. pull-through station used.

Protect your credit future:

Your credit history is your résumé to better mortgage rates, credit card rates, and car loan terms. If you don’t protect this valuable personal resource, you risk ending up with less money in your pocket later.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act aims to provide consumers with information on how their credit profile is prepared by each of the three nationwide Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRA).

The law also requires consumers to be provided with measures they can take to ensure the accuracy of their profile. Experian, one of the major CRAs, reports that 1 in 20 Americans are victims of identity theft.

The most common types of identity theft are (1) unauthorized use of one’s credit card (ie someone uses your card number to purchase groceries and other products) or (2) opening a credit account or borrowing money on your behalf using your merchandise Recognition.

As you can imagine, your credit rating is at risk if you default. Use the following free tools to protect yourself from someone stealing your credit.

First fraud warning:

Ask one of the rating agencies (Experian, Equifax, or Trans Union) to put a “fraud alert” on your file. This designation requires creditors to follow additional procedures when opening a line of credit with a Boscov, AT&T, etc. store.

A useful feature of a Fraud Alert is that you only have to notify one of the rating agencies. Once created, a fraud alert will automatically be placed on your credit profile with the other two national rating agencies. An initial fraud warning is valid for one year.

An extended fraud alert is valid for seven years and is used by previous identity theft victims who submit a submitted identity theft report.

Safety stop:

You can also put a “safety stop” on your account. A security stop prevents a reporting agency from releasing your credit information without your express permission. Unlike a fraud alert, when you initiate a security ban, you must do so at each of the three reporting bodies.

While this action prevents credit cards or loans from being issued in your name to anyone other than you, it may slightly delay your own ability to apply for an instant loan in stores.

However, a security ban can be easily removed by logging onto any CRA website and removing it. To encourage the use of a fraud alert, security stop, or to find out more about your credit profile in general, visit the National Consumer Reporting Unit websites at: or / or

“A penny saved is a penny earned”

While Thomas Fuller may not have had identity theft in mind when he wrote those words in 1661 (Ben Franklin wrote something similar in his Poor Richard’s Almanac published in 1737), both men were right about having your credit information stolen .

The cost to resolve a single incident of identity fraud can be as high as $10,000. This number doesn’t take into account the headaches, frustrations, and delays that come with trying to legitimately obtain a mortgage or auto loan loan.

The moral here, taking a stab in time to review and apply these measures to protect your financial identity, will save a lot more than nine, in fact.

About the Author: Andrew J. Luca, Esquire is a co-founder of CKL Law Group, LLP and has practiced real estate and consumer fraud law in New Jersey for nearly 20 years.

Leave a Comment