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Guard Against Identity Theft

Intent on taking a free ride on the good name and reputation of others, identity thieves obtain personal information and then essentially impersonate their victims as they open credit-card accounts, make purchases, or take out loans. It can take a while for the victim to know that he has been wronged, and even longer to sort out and to clean up the damage. In the meantime, the innocent party may be denied financial and employment opportunities.

While there is no way to have complete protection against identity theft, these common-sense measures can decrease the odds of becoming a victim:

* Jealously guard personal information like your Social Security number and account numbers and passwords, divulging it only in a communication that you initiate. Use this information sparingly online and only if it will be encrypted.

* Keep your wallet from becoming a gold mine for potential thieves by carrying the minimum in checks, credit cards, or other bank items, and do not keep your Social Security number there.

* Retrieve your mail promptly and do not leave outgoing mail in your doorway or home mailbox.

* Tear up private papers like bank statements, receipts, and credit-card applications before throwing them away. It is not just archaeologists who sift through old garbage in search of valuable information.

* Store valuable financial information at home in a place that is not available to prying eyes.

* Review bank account and credit-card records regularly, as well as your own credit report prepared by a credit bureau, so that you can pick up the first signs of trouble, such as a missing payment or an unauthorized withdrawal.

This website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining the website and its contents, Lucas Law does not intend to solicit business from clients located in states or jurisdictions outside of Illinois wherein Lucas Law or its individual attorney(s) are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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