This post about identity theft has been sponsored by LifeLock and Find Your Influence but all opinions expressed are my own. #LifeLockProtect
I like to think that I am very careful with my personal information. I work in the medical field so I know all about the importance of protecting personal information! I shred important documents, shop only on secure websites, and cut up old credit cards into miniscule little pieces. However, sometimes identity theft is completely out of our control. When a business disposes of our private information in an incorrect way, unscrupulous people can swoop in to steal it! Every time you give your personal information to a business, you are risking identity theft!
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I remember the day I learned that my identity had been stolen due to mishandling of personal information by a business. I used to live in Houston, Texas but had been living in Georgia for over three years when I received a mysterious phone call. Apparently, someone had opened a bank account in Texas with MY personal information and bounced a $300 check at a Houston Walmart! I was shocked! I had not lived in Houston for 3 years…how could there be a bank account with my name on it there?
In my case, a past employer, bank, or the DMV had neglected to dispose of my information correctly. Most businesses hold a person’s private information for a minimum of three years after an account is closed before disposing of it. My name, address, and driver’s license number were fraudulently used to open a new bank account. In this case, no matter how careful *I* was to protect my information from identity theft, I was still susceptible to criminals!
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Thankfully, none of my actual money was involved in this scam but that doesn’t mean I could just ignore it! This type of identity theft can destroy a person’s credit rating and had to be dealt with. I had to file a police report, which included filling out a TON of paperwork. And since the crime happened in Texas and *I* lived in Georgia, I ended up shipping stacks of paperwork back and forth to the Houston police department. Identity theft is definitely a huge hassle that I hope I never have to deal with again!
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Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.