Colorado Ranks Third In Most Scammed List: Are You Protected?
Learning that our state ranked in the top five of the most scammed in the country took me back a little , but now that I am better equipped to protect myself, I'm at ease. Here's what I learned. According to an article at www.huffingtonpost.com the Federal Trade Commission has released its annual report of state fraud and identity theft in the U.S., the top ten include California, Delaware, Nevada and Colorado.
In Colorado, the scam rate per 100,000 people is 507.4. Fraud complaints total 412.4 and 95.0 identity theft victims were reported.
Now how do we protect our pockets? What can you do to protect yourself? The answers are quite simple, seriously, the little thing's add up to a safe and secure path.
I have gathered so much information from random websites, my bank and friends in the financial business. It really is amazing how simple it is to protect ourselves against identity theft and credit card fraud.
The biggest issue is diligence, throw in a touch of common sense and you will be protected.
Here are a few tips I have acquired through the years that I'd like to share:
- Beware of calls, emails or letters asking for you to confirm your personal information. A bank will not conduct business this way. Do not give out your information, period!
- Sounds simple, but check your statements, if there is a charge you are not familiar with even if it is only a dollar, call your bank and find out what it is about. You would be astonished to know how many companies tack on hidden charges without legitimate cause.
- Here's one that is like the 'Golden Rule', if it sounds too good to be true, IT IS! For instance, if receive a call or letter saying that you've won a cruise and requires you to give them a credit card number for taxes or to hold your prize, you did NOT win anything, you will actually be purchasing it.
- Shred all personal documents with sensitive information-PERIOD! Don't ever get the mindset that you are above someone stealing your identity because you already have lousy credit, for example. Identity theft is not merely a means for someone to go shopping, there are many reasons identities are needed.
- Review your credit report at least once a year. If you notice and address that you have never had or a credit card or loan that you haven't obtained on your report, you may be the victim of identity theft. There are some actions you can take to doubly protect yourself in regards to your credit report including freezing your report for a nominal fee or fraud flagging it. To find out more visit equifax.com, experian.com and/or transunion.com.
- A new issues that has cropped up recently is debit card manipulation, where the clerk will add "cash back" to your purchase without your knowledge. Bottom line, check your receipt and make sure the amount is valid before leaving the store and follow up when you reconcile your bank accounts with your receipts.
Some safeguards are tedious and time consuming, but only a fraction of what you would have to go through if your identity was actually stolen. You work hard for the money you get and the life you have, I hope this helps you protect them.