Call 1-719-520-0164 Today!

07 Oct 2018

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft – A Major Cause of Bankruptcy

As more and more people use electronic means to do their banking, pay their bills, or make purchases, many are becoming victims of identity theft. Once a hacker gets access to your personal information, such as your Social Security number, he or she can run up significant debt in your name, or worse yet, empty your bank account. Unfortunately, the increasing occurrence of identity theft has led to a rising tide of personal bankruptcy filings.


Given the high profile cases of hackers breaking into credit-card payment systems and stealing data, all identity theft cannot be prevented, but there are many steps that you can take to reduce the risk. When someone fraudulently charges items on your credit card, they take advantage of your good record opening new accounts in your name. In most cases, hyper-vigilance is your best protection.

Here are some ways you can prevent identity theft:

Shred it. Think twice before letting bills, statements, receipts, and solicitations leave your house in one piece. Always shred financial and medical statements, pre-approved credit card offers and other solicitations, preferably with a cross-cut shredder.

Think like a thief. Before throwing anything away, check to see whether it includes any valuable identifying information that could potentially be used by an identity theft.

Lock it up. To avoid thieves who steal credit-card offers from your mailbox or intercept bills waiting for the postal carrier, get a secure mailbox. If you're home a lot, you can install a device that lets you know when your mailbox has been opened.

Stash it. Rather than throwing away receipts and other documents at the airport, shopping mall or the office, bring them home and then shred them.

Practice financial diligence. Protecting your credit and your banking and brokerage accounts is worthy of special effort. Among other things, keep your checkbook out of sight at all times and store blank checks in a secure spot.

Red flags. If you receive a notice that your email address or mailing address has been changed, it's a clear sign that someone could be trying to hijack your account. Contact the sender immediately.

Conduct financial checkups. Monitor all your financial accounts on a regular basis, looking for any unusual transactions. If you notice any improper charges or withdrawals to your account, report them immediately.

Freeze it. If you notice suspicious activity, you can add a security freeze to each of your credit reports, preventing the credit reporting agency from releasing any information about you without your expressed authorization. These freezes must be lifted if you plan to apply for credit.

Reduce your risk. You can cut your chances of identity theft by taking other steps to reduce unwanted solicitations and protect your information. You should also be diligent about managing important documents.

Cut junk mail. You can reduce unsolicited mail by going to the Direct Marketing Association web site at www.DMAchoice.org and setting your preferences. Choosing to be contacted by email instead of mail reduces the opportunity for identity thieves to obtain your information.

Be password savvy. Give each of your high value online accounts a unique password that includes symbols as well as letters and numbers. Memorize those passwords whenever possible, but if you must write them down, keep them in a locked safe or drawer. Before disposing of an old computer, consider a data wipe utility program to prevent the recovery of information from your hard drive.

Don't be a phishing victim. Phishing refers to emails that appear to be from your bank, brokerage or cell phone provider; but they are actually fraudulent emails from scammers looking for details about your accounts. They will typically ask for personal information, such as your Social Security number, account number or passwords. No legitimate company would every request that kind of information from in an email.

 

 

Stephen H. Swift

Managing Attorney
Law Office of Stephen H. Swift, P.C.

Client Testimonials

  • All
  • 80903
  • 80909
  • Alamosa
  • Attorney
  • Bankruptcy Attorney
  • Buena Vista
  • Burlinton
  • Canon City
  • Colorado
  • Colorado Springs
  • Compassionate
  • Cripple Creek
  • Denver
  • Divide
  • El Paso County
  • Falcon
  • Florissant
  • Fountain
  • Hartsel
  • Highlands Ranch
  • Kind
  • La Junta
  • Lamar
  • La Veta
  • Lawyer
  • Manitou Springs
  • Monument
  • Professional
  • Pueblo
  • Rocky Ford
  • Salida
  • Southern Colorado
  • Teller County
  • The Springs
  • Westcilffe
  • Wiley
  • Woodland Park
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  •  

    "My attorney (Matthew Hansen) is a very kind person.  I felt very confident in his skills. He is very knowledgeable and efficient.  He didn't make me feel embarrassed to be filing for bankruptcy.  Thank you Matthew!  Laura was very friendly, and everyone I interacted with was very nice and helpful as well.  " 
      –  Sherry M., Colorado Springs, CO



     

    • Colorado Springs
  •  

    "Keep the front desk person (Cris)!  First impressions are #1.  That person can make or break your business.  Cris is AMAZING!  Very helpful and kind.  She never made me feel like a terrible person for filing bankruptcy.  Ward was also very helpful and very kind.  Mr. Swift was great.  He was kind and understanding - got the job done!" - Jacqueline S., Colorado Springs, CO



     

    • Colorado Springs
  •  

    "Cris was professional, helpful and so kind. We rate the quality of the legal expertise we received a 10 out of 10!" 
     – Danny & Christina J., Colorado Springs, CO

    • Colorado Springs
  •  

    "Mr. Swift is a man of great integrity.  I felt like I was in secure hands from start to finish.  I believe he is trustworthy and honest.  He's an ethical man in every way! " 
         – Byron Y., Colorado Springs, CO  

    • Colorado Springs
    • El Paso County
  • "We found Swift Law Firm while doing a search online.  We are so glad we did!  The entire staff was very friendly and professional, and they didn't make you feel stupid for having to file.  " 
             – Ron & Ann N., Colorado Springs, CO

    • Colorado Springs
  •  

    "Everyone there showed patience and caring to my situation.  Cris in particular did a good job communicating with me and showing outstanding service.  Very professional, friendly and extremely helpful!" –  Belma C., Colorado Springs, CO



     

    • Colorado Springs
load more hold SHIFT key to load all load all

Popular Blog Posts

 

Get In Touch

 733 E. Costilla St., Suite A

     Colorado Springs, CO 80903

 Phone: (719) 520-0164

 Fax: (719) 520-0248