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February 11, 2010

  • Oh No, Not Another Score!, Pt.1
      Five habits of identity thieves.

    As if keeping track of our FICO score isn't enough, now we have to be concerned about our ID Score. Identity theft and credit card fraud has grown to such magnitude proportions that a whole new generation of fraud prevention services has surfaced to help Americans safeguard sensitive information. According to the Federal Trade Commission, one out of every six Americans is a potential victim of identity theft and credit card fraud. Nearly 10% of the U.S. population became a victim in 2008. Many Americans believe losing a credit card is the most common form of theft; however, there are five popular methods of identity theft which include:

    Obtaining a driver's license in the credit cardholder's name.
    Obtaining employment by using the victim's Social Security Number (SSN); a method often used by illegal aliens.
    Accessing medical insurance to gain medical benefits.
    Use of personal information to avoid criminal charges.
    Use of financial information to obtain a variety of credit particularly credit cards. The thief will often open up new accounts and then max out the credit and leaving the bill for you to figure out.

    The familiar and traditional score, the FICO, represents an individual's creditworthiness. The FICO score is derived from a number of elements including payment history and debt ratio. Credit cardholders are often confused by the FICO score and not always aware of how their financial habits affect it. By law, American's have the right to review his credit history free of charge once a year; however, if you want to see your FICO score, you'll need to pay. While the FICO score plays an important part in the merchants decision whether or not to lend you money, it is the credit history that truly tells the story. Therefore, consumers are advised by most experts to review their credit history regularly. There is another helpful score that most consumer are unaware of; the ID Score.

    Continued...
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