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Safeguard Your Identity: Protect Yourself With A Personal Privacy Audit

by Mari J. Frank, Esq.

Yes, It Can Happen to You!

Imagine this: The phone rings, and a collection agency demands that you pay past-due accounts for merchandise you never ordered. The supermarket starts refusing your checks, claiming you have a history of bouncing them. How can this be happening? You have a perfect credit record and you always pay bills on time. Then comes the final blow; you apply for a new job and the company denies you the position saying they can’t hire someone with a criminal record—yet you’ve never even been arrested! What has happened? Unfortunately, someone has stolen your identity.

The crime of identity theft has become a plague in our society. A recent survey by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that more than 9.9 million people became victims of identity theft in one year! According to the FTC, consumer victims (in 2003) lost over $5 billion, and spent over 300 million hours to regain their identity. Businesses lost $48 billion.

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