Wednesday, March 12, 2008

IDENTITY SECURITY


CHEAPIOSITY's Cousin Michael just told us that he bought some Suze Orman DVD on QVC about identity theft. He had to pay for the DVD and then subscribe to her program, an $87 “value” for “only” $39.78 plus shipping and handling…Oh, Michael, Michael, Michael. That's not a bargain. That's a rip-off.
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You want value? How about the exact same thing for FREE?
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(Not to mention…Michael, we recognize there was a writer's strike, but wasn't there something better to watch on TV than QVC? You bring shame to the family, and I compound that shame, admitting that sort of thing in such a public forum. I blog for CHEAPIOSITY, and my cousin watches QVC.)
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Another friend told CHEAPIOSITY she was going to subscribe to an identity theft checker and pay a monthly fee. Ridiculous, when you can do it yourself for FREE.
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For this monthly fee, the company says they will get you your credit report. You don't need a middleman for that, not when you can just as easily do it yourself. Simply go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com/ once a year (or more often if you suspect foul play) to order your credit reports from all 3 credit services…Uh, did we mention it's FREE?
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(We know that this sort of thing seems complicated and may even bring out feelings of inadequacy and math anxiety, but checking your own credit is only a couple of clicks away. Honest.)
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If you feel your credit is being compromised, you can put fraud alerts on your credit reports. They are also FREE. Check out: http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft for more good information. Also FREE.
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Incidentally, if you subscribe to one of these pay sites to have them watch your credit for you, you're trusting another group of complete strangers with all your personal information. Not to feed your already heightened sense of paranoia…but does that seem like a good idea? We didn't think so either. Uh, did we mention that CHEAPIOSITY 's way is FREE? And secure. And FREE.
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There's another service that a lot of you have seen called Lifelock. CHEAPIOSITY urges you to take a look at an interesting two-part posting on Mouseprint (a blog we check on a regular basis) that might make you think twice about subscribing to Lifelock. Here are the links:
http://www.mouseprint.org/?p=381
http://www.mouseprint.org/?p=384
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One last note: Identity theft is real. Check to make sure that your homeowners policy has an ID Theft clause, to help pay for your out-of-pocket costs if you need to defend yourself. Here's an interesting article to read on the subject: http://www.idsafety.net/803.R_2008%20Identity%20Fraud%20Survey%20Report_Consumer%20Version.pdf

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1 comment:

Mark said...

Oh I agree with you. Hiring these anti-theft companies to watch your credit is like leaving a wolf in the henhouse to watch your chickens. Credit histories are very valuble to marketers. I don't trust these companies. They might pimp out your information to outside sources.

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