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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Candace Davenport - ID Theft Prevention

Gayle: Candace, please tell us about yourself and what you do...

As an attorney, I represented disabled people for 30+ years. After I retired, I still wanted to help people and having personal experience with our broken legal system, I now am determined to level the playing field by offering affordable access to the legal system with prepaid legal plans. As a conjunct to having affordable access to a lawyer, I also offer training and education on identity theft protection and offer an IDT protection plan that has monitoring and the only true restoration offered in the marketplace if your identity has been stolen.

Gayle: What are the most important things a person can do to protect themselves against ID theft?

Unfortunately, the Federal Trade Commission says that by 2009, 1 out of 3 people will be a victim of identity theft. As a result, the best steps to take to protect yourself are to be aware, monitor your personal information and have protection in place. Be aware of who has access to your personal information and safeguard it. Routinely monitor your financial accounts and your monthly statements from credit cards. Get a copy of your credit report as a baseline (can be obtained free). If you suspect a problem, take quick action.

Gayle: What are the most important things a person should do if they have been a victim of ID theft?

There are several things you should do immediately if you have been a victim of IDT: place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review your credit reports; file a police report and a complaint with the FTC; and deal with the institutions which are involved with the IDT. A good resource is, the FTC’s identity theft website. In the alternative, you can have protection plan in place which will take the steps needed if your identity has been stolen.

Gayle: What other important things should we know?

The basic definition of identity theft is when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, driver’s license or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. However, most people think that IDT is just losing your credit card when the more serious aspects of IDT can be when people commit crimes in your name, get medical tests in your name that later affect your treatment, or work and incur taxes in your name. It can take years and thousands of dollars to clear up incidents and you may not even find out about them for years later. Identity theft is serious business and we all need to be aware and take protective measures!

If you would like to contact Candace, here's her info...

Candace C. Davenport
Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist
Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.
O: 877-852-2451
C: 415-302-1410

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