I spoke with identity theft expert and author John Sileo about the best ways to prevent identity theft.
John’s new book, Privacy Means Profit, teaches individuals and businesses how to stay safe from this rapidly growing crime.
I’ll warn you–John’s story is a little scary. You’ll hear how identity theft cost him a 40-year-old business, $300,000, and almost ruined his marriage and landed him in jail. Take a few minutes to listen to my interview with him because you’ll learn important tips about how to avoid becoming the victim of an identity crime.
Click below to hear my interview with John Sileo:[audio:https://lauradadams.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Laura_Interviews_John_Sileo.mp3|titles=Laura_Interviews_John_Sileo]
Here are 6 surprisingly simple ways to limit your exposure to identity criminals:
Tip #1: Stop financial junk mail
Go to optoutprescreen.com and put an end to pre-approved offers of credit or insurance permanently or for just 5 years. Opting-out means you’ll no longer be included in lists that the credit agencies give out.
Tip #2: Eliminate unwanted phone calls
Go to donotcall.gov and remove your land line and cell phone numbers from marketing caller lists.
Tip #3: De-list yourself from local phone directories
White pages and directory assistance are primary sources of phone numbers and addresses, so removing your listing dramatically limits your exposure.
Tip #4: Remove yourself from reverse lookup services
A reverse phone directory allows a thief to get your residential address using your phone number. Start by removing your number from Google’s Reverse Lookup.
Tip #5: Don’t allow images of your home online
Go to maps.google.com to remove the map street view of your home. Enter your address, click “Street View,” click “Report a Problem” (at the bottom left corner), click “Privacy Concerns”, and submit a request to have pictures of your property removed.
Tip #6: Change your credit card number
Get a card with a new number each year so your old numbers can’t be used fraudulently. Don’t close the account; simply request a replacement card and make sure to update the information with merchants you pay automatically by credit card.