More Than 1 In 4 Whose Wallets Vanish Lose Cash, Credit And Debit Cards, And Driver’s License

MoneyTips

When your wallet or pocketbook disappears, it’s not just cash that you’re losing. MoneyTips wanted to see how often people lose credit cards, IDs, and even prescription medications when they are a victim of theft or their own forgetfulness. The loss of these items could lead to identity theft.

Warns Greg Scott, an IT professional and identity theft victim, “Let’s all just be smart on what we keep in our wallets and what we leave at home. The more physical identification somebody can steal from us, the easier to steal our overall identities.”

We polled 509 Americans in November to learn that nearly 2 in 3 Americans had either lost or had stolen their wallets, purses, pocketbooks or money clips (we’ll use ‘wallet’ from now on to represent these four accessories). We then asked those whose wallets vanished:

Video: 5 Tips For Protecting Your Data From Identity Thieves

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With new cybersecurity threats cropping up daily and millions of identity thieves devising creative ways to trick you into divulging your personal information, you need to protect yourself from identity theft. Watch MoneyTips Consumer Advocate Kristin Malia share five simple things you should do to prevent your identity from being stolen.

For even more protection and peace of mind, let MoneyTips protect your credit and your identity with a free trial.

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Credit Monitoring Vs. Identity Theft Protection

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You know you need to protect your accounts and personal information – but what is the best method? Should you use a credit monitoring service or subscribe to identity theft protection instead? What’s the difference between the two methods?

Credit monitoring services do exactly what they say they do – monitor activity on your accounts with the major credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax). Creditors report all activities related to borrowing money, including your payment history, to credit reporting agencies. Monitoring services may monitor your history with all three agencies or be exclusive to a certain agency.

With credit monitoring, you’re alerted to various changes in your credit report – for example, when a potential creditor asks for your credit history or when new credit card accounts or loans are opened in your name. Any activity that is reported to the credit reporting agency is monitored.

However, identity theft can invol…

Survey: Nearly 2 In 3 Have Lost Or Had Stolen Their Wallet

MoneyTips

Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling when you reach in your pants or purse for your wallet, and it’s gone? You’re not alone. According to an exclusive MoneyTips survey, 62% of respondents have had their wallets lost or stolen. More than 1 in 3 had suffered both from wallet loss and theft, while 36% of those admitting misplacing their wallet did so repeatedly!

“These numbers remind me to limit the credit cards and cash I carry, and to make sure I know how to contact every credit card issuer in my wallet,” says Greg Scott, an IT professional and identity theft victim. “I should probably also keep a copy of my driver’s license, insurance cards, and other ‘wallet stuff’ somewhere safe. Just in case.”

In an exclusive MoneyTips Survey conducted in November of 2018, we asked:

Of the 509 respondents, 316 (62%) admitted losing their money holder (we’ll use ‘wallet…

Proposed Law Stops Auto Insurers Using Credit Scores To Set Rates

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Another Use for Your Credit Score

You probably know that your credit score affects the interest rates you’ll pay for credit cards and loans. Did you know that your credit score could also affect your auto insurance rates?

It can in all but three states (California, Massachusetts, and Hawaii). Those three states have banned credit-based insurance scoring – the use of credit scores in determining auto insurance premiums. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) would like to make that ban nationwide.

Rep. Tlaib is introducing a bill that would prohibit auto insurance companies from using a client’s credit history to set rates for premiums. She claims that the practice discriminates against low-income Americans and compounds ethnic and racial discrimination.

We Use It Because It Works

Insurers use credit-based scoring for one basic reason – it accurately assesses risk. Separate studies from the University of Texas and the Federal Trade Commissio…

What Americans Would Do To Protect Our Identities

MoneyTips

With the massive Equifax hack of 2017, the credit bureaus have shown that they can’t protect your identity. It’s up to you. How far would you go to protect it yourself? Would you stop using public WiFi? Stop using social media? Move to North Korea?

We asked your fellow Americans how far they’re willing to go, and you’ll be amazed by their answers.

In a 2018 Google survey, we asked:

Using weighted averages, more than 1 in 5 (21.8%) asserted that they would “Stop using public WiFi”. Surprisingly, nearly 1 in 6 (15.5%) said that they would “Stop using social media”. Even more shocking, nearly 1 in 16 (6.4%) said that they would be willing to “Move to North Korea”! That’s even bigger than the 4.6% who would “Switch to a non-smartphone”. Over half (51.6%) wouldn’t take any of these steps to protect their identity.

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13 Ways To Prevent Credit Card Fraud

MoneyTips

You’ve taken steps to avoid identity theft, and maybe even applied a credit freeze to your credit report. You can sit back and relax, right?Wrong. You may have prevented identity thieves from opening new accounts in your name, but have you kept your existing credit accounts secure?

As opposed to identity theft where your information is used to create unauthorized accounts in your name, credit card fraud refers to a single existing account. A thief has stolen your card or has the necessary card information to make unauthorized purchases on that account.

How do you prevent credit card fraud? Here, we offer thirteen possible precautions:

1. Avoid Ph…

Your Rights As An Identity Theft Victim

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Would you know what to do if you discovered that you were a victim of identity theft? Given the massive data breaches over the last few years, it’s important that you understand your rights as an identity theft victim – because your odds of becoming one are greater than ever.

“If you find you are a victim of identity theft,” says April Lewis-Parks, Director of Education and Public Relations at Consolidated Credit, “you should contact the police, let them know.” In addition, file an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission at their website. These reports will give you the proof you need to exercise your rights listed below.

The Right to Place Fraud Alerts – You can contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) and request that a Posted in Borrowing, Credit RatingTagged , , , , , , , ,

3 Of 4 Americans Know A Victim Of Identity Theft

MoneyTips

More than 15 million Americans had their identity stolen last year. Do you know anyone who has suffered through the victimization, then agonized more as they struggled to reclaim their identity?

Odds are you do! We hope it wasn’t you.

Because of this digital epidemic, we conducted an exclusive MoneyTips Google survey in 2018 to see how many people knew identity theft victims, and the results were astonishing. We asked:

Using weighted averages, barely more than 1 in 4 (26.1%) didn’t know a single identity theft victim. Nearly 6 in 10 knew between 1 and 5 victims. 6.3% admitted knowing between 6 and 10 victims, while more than 1 in 12 (8.7%) knew 11 victims or more!

Says Professor Steve Weisman, who teaches White Collar Crime at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, “These figures are disturbing, but not surprising. Identity theft is a huge p…