It could happen when you make a routine withdrawal from an ATM, respond to an e-mail asking for information about an online account, or leave a new box of checks unattended in your mailbox. Identity theft is one of the easiest crimes to commit in America—and one of the hardest to prosecute. As thieves become increasingly clever, Americans have more reasons than ever to fear this elusive, ubiquitous crime. Now there’s a book to help you beat it.
In two easy-to-understand sections, Terri Cullen, The Wall Street Journal’s expert on identity theft, first walks you through the most common types of identity theft and how to arm yourself against them, and then leads victims step-by-step through the process of reclaiming a stolen identity. The average victim loses more than $6,000 and spends approximately 600 hours negotiating the complex bureaucracies and paperwork—this book will help save time and effort by laying out the process. And by following the advice in the first half, you may never need the second!
• how to avoid the most common scams, from “phishing” to “dumpster diving”
• why children under eighteen are the fastest-growing target, and how you can protect your family
• why your credit report is the single most important document for protecting your identity
• how to use the sample letters, forms, and other useful tools inside for recovering from identity theft
In today’s marketplace, your two most valuable assets are your credit and your identity. No one should be without this vital guide to protecting them.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Wall Street Journal. Complete Identity Theft Guidebook|
|Release Date: 07-10-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||The Wall Street...|
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The Wall Street Journal. Complete Identity Theft Guidebook
What Is Identity Theft, Anyway?
Jerome Powell remembers being irritated with himself for not paying closer attention to his driving. When the Mountain View, Colorado, police car’s blue lights came on behind him, Powell, a government contractor, had just driven through a yellow light as it turned red. Now he would be late for his next appointment. He apologized to the officer and handed over his driver’s license and insurance information. He watched in his rearview mirror as the officer radioed from his cruiser for a license check.
It seemed to be taking a long time to write a routine ticket. Finally, the officer approached Powell’s window and told him to get out of the car. Powell was stunned to find himself under arrest on two outstanding felony warrants. He was shocked and humiliated as the officer made him put his hands behind his back and then cuffed him and read him his Miranda rights. The Navy veteran spent hours in jail, shaking from fear that he might wind up charged with a crime he didn’t commit.
The warrants for his arrest were issued in 2003, when a thief used Powell’s driver’s license to buy more than $10,000 in computer equipment and other items. Despite overwhelming evidence that it was a case of identity theft—the stolen goods were delivered to the apartment of a career criminal who bore no resemblance at all to Powell—he was forced to spend several thousand dollars to post bond and get a lawyer to clear his name.
Jerome Powell’s unnerving and expensive experience is a true case of identity theft—the thief used Powell’s driver’s license to impersonate Powell. Not to be