Efforts Against Identity Theft

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Efforts Against Identity Theft Powered By Docstoc
					                                          Presented by Daniel Toriola


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                            What One Top Ten Identity Theft State is Doing About It
                                                         By Lisa Carey



   Consumers are not the only ones concerned about and taking steps to protect against identity theft.
Many states are taking important steps to protect their residents. A few of these steps include stiffer
penalties, imposing sanctions and fines on careless companies and providing their residents with many
tools necessary to correct the errors that identity theft has caused.

 Many identity theft savvy consumers are: installing anti-spy ware, using shredders, reducing the use of
their social security number, using services to stop junk mail and risky credit card applications. But
what about the actions of others? After all the care you take to protect yourself, what happens when
others, such as companies or service providers do not?

 Businesses that have access to your information aren’t always looking for you. It is far too easy to
simply throw important personal information away, than to take the sometimes expensive steps needed
to have it professionally disposed of. But many states are looking out for your best interest, especially
when it comes to identity theft. Texas has a growing reputation for being proactive in preventing
identity theft and tough on punishing businesses who don’t protect the consumer. Texas law requires
vendors to take specific precautions before disposing of personal documents that may include
customers' bank accounts, driver's license and Social Security numbers. In the state of Texas, you can
bet companies will be thinking twice before dumping your credit application in a public trash can.

Examples of Poor Business Practices:

 Public trash cans outside a local Radio Shack were filled with thousands of customer’s sensitive
personal and credit information after the dumping of these documents. Credit applications containing
names, social security numbers, debit and credit card numbers as well as addresses and telephone
numbers and receipts were located, exposing many Radio Shack Consumers to identity theft or credit
card fraud.

 After investigations by the State of Texas Attorney General’s office, a settlement was reached. Under
the settlement with Radio-Shack, the retailer is required to enhance security procedures and
implement employee training. Radio Shack also agreed to unannounced compliance audits in all Texas
stores bi-annually.


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                                                                                                                     Page 1
                                                Presented by Daniel Toriola


 Select Medical was investigated after a report that over 4,000 documents were found in the garbage
behind their Select Physical Therapy Location. These un-shredded records included bank account
numbers, drug testing results, insurance verification sheets as well as sensitive social and vocational
therapy questionnaires.

 Select Medical will also be required to amend security procedures and implement training for Texas
employees about the newly established state laws governing customer record disposal.

 The insurance forms are of particular concern in light of the growing trend of medical identity theft, in
which an individuals’ insurance information is used to obtain medical services or to commit insurance
fraud.

 Under the settlement agreement, the state of Texas will receive nearly $1.5 million in fines, including
attorney’s fees. As outlined in the Identity Theft and Protection Act, the remainder will be used for the
investigation and prosecution of future cases of identity theft.

 Stiff penalties are just one of the steps taken to protect and prevent identity theft. The Texas Attorney
General’s Office has created a checklist for victims of identity theft to take steps and track their
progress during recovery. The identity theft check list includes information and forms on: closing all
fraudulent accounts made in your name, contacting the 3 major credit reporting agencies and
requesting a fraud alert or security freeze for new accounts, reporting identity theft crimes for local law
enforcement and obtaining a copy of the police report, and reporting identity theft crimes to Federal
Trade Commission and completing and ID Theft Affidavit. Victims are also advised to file a consumer
complaint with the Office of the Attorney General in the event that they are harassed by credit
collectors as a result of identity theft. Additionally The Texas Attorney General’s Office also offers an
Identity Theft Victim’s Kit.

 According to 2006 state statistics on identity theft, Texas ranks fourth in the area of identity theft.
States are ranked according to victims per 100,000 people, and it should be noted that Texas also has
a higher population than many other states. The top ten states with the Most Victims of Identity Theft
Per Capita are: Arizona, Nevada, California, Texas, Florida, Colorado, Georgia, New York,
Washington, and New Mexico.

 Just because your state did not make the top ten list, doesn’t mean you are safe. No matter where you
live, this crime is a real problem. Information, advocacy, laws and prosecutions in any state will
ultimately help everyone but in the mean time consumers must educate themselves and arm
themselves with protection against identity theft as well as the remedies available to them. With the
continued efforts of law enforcement, state and federal agencies, stiffer fines and penalties as well as
requiring a higher standard of care from businesses, progress is being made on many levels in
protecting consumers.

Lisa Carey is a contributing author for http://www.IdentityTheftSecrets.com. You can get tips on Identity
theft protection, software, and monitoring your credit, as well as learn more about the secrets used by
identity thieves at http://www.IdentityTheftSecrets.com




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                                                                                                             Page 2
                                                Presented by Daniel Toriola


       Identity Theft Statistics Now Show That There Has Been An Increase In Id Theft Online
                                                                By Ann Marier



 Identity theft is one of the most troubling problems of the modern world. Although it is hard to come by
good identity theft statistics, one thing is clear. Credit card theft and other forms of theft of identity are
on the rise. If this was not troubling enough, consider the fact that you never know when your identity is
being stolen. You will only find out days, weeks, or even months later. It is almost impossible to prevent
identity theft. At best, all you can do is take steps to make it easier to recover your identity.

Identity theft stats do make one thing clear: people who take steps to protect their identities are much
less vulnerable. Identity theft statistics tell us that people who keep good financial records, make sure
that their Internet accounts are well protected, frequently change passwords, and regularly check their
credit, are less likely to be victimized. When they are the victim of identity theft, these people can
resolve the issue much more quickly. It is easier for them to prove that their identity has been stolen
and that they are not responsible for any purchases that have been made in their name.

Statistics on identity theft, however, tell us nothing about which steps are the most important, and
which ones can be ignored. Because identity theft is such a new problem, identity theft statistics are
not all that sophisticated yet. The only solution is to take all the steps that you can to protect your
identity. This can prove costly, but it is worth it! For example, according to recent identity theft statistics,
if your computer is well secured you are several times less likely to have your identity stolen.

According to identity theft statistics, it is as important to take precautions when you go on vacation as
when you are at home. When you are traveling, particularly if you're going for an extended stay, you
are vulnerable. You will not see the mail coming into your house, and will be unaware of unusual
charges on your bank account until it is too late. Fortunately, identity theft protection works whether or
not you are at home. Identity theft statistics, in fact, do not indicate a significant difference in security
between people who are home, and people who are traveling abroad. As long as you protect your
identity, you are at a much lower risk of having it stolen. The most important thing is not to delay. Every
day without theft protection is another day when you could be victimized.

Ann Merier a prolific writer has written many articles about family health and house and garden Topics.
http://infraredsauna.4houseandgarden.com http://meatsmokers.4houseandgarden.com
http://u-can-prevent-id-theft.com




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                                                Presented by Daniel Toriola




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Identity Theft Statistics Now Show That There Has Been An Increase In Id Theft Online
Fraud Alerts and Identity Theft: Is This Enough?
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