Monday, March 29, 2010

ID Theft...How Easy It Is

Take a look at this Washington Post article on ID Theft and tell me it doesn’t make you a little paranoid.

I wasn’t surprised that identity theft happens to 11.1 million victims a year for a total of $54 billion. I wasn’t surprised that 55% of identity theft victims will never know how it happened. I wasn’t even that surprised that 18-24 year olds were hit the hardest since they take the longest to catch on (132 days on average) and share much more about themselves online than we old folks do.

I was surprised how easy it is to find out who someone is so you can steal their identity.

According to this article, most people can be tracked down by simply knowing their sex, zip code, and date of birth. That’s creepy. Especially since all of you know my sex, my general location, and my general age…hmmm. I will now be skipping any Happy Birthday posts I had in mind. :-)

Please keep yourself safe. At the very least, take a look at your accounts and credit reports on a regular basis. You are entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the three main bureaus – Transunion, Experian, and Equifax. I use the official site: Since all three companies list the similar information, space out your reports every four months in order to maximize the number of times you can check on your status.

How about you?  Ever had your identity stolen?  If so, what did you have to do to get everything straightened out?


  1. I've had card#'s stolen and used for purchases. It was a pain getting new cards etc but nothing like a full case of ID theft.

    It is scary stuff! But what can we do? Take all the precautions and like you said, with little information someone can still steal our ID.

    Popular ID protections services really don't do much.

  2. LeanLifeCoach, I don't know how to stop identity theft, but that's why I ladder our credit reports and keep a close eye on all our accounts...I think that's the best we can do.

    Sorry you had to go through the hassle of having your card number stolen. That happened to me when I was 18 and just got my first credit card. I was so scared when I came back from a week of vacation and found that $400 of stuff had been charged online while I was gone. Thankfully, it was handled quickly and I wasn't on the line for any of the charges that weren't mine.

  3. Thankfully, I've never been a victim. My process is similar to most people. I check my credit report periodically and also check my regular accounts (credit card we use and also checking account) daily. If anything pops up that I don't recognize, I'll know about it right away and can stop the fraud before it gets any worse. Fingers crossed that I never have to worry about it.