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Below is some very good information to take precautions so Identity Theft doesn't happen to you, and what to do if you believe it has happened to you. I have added some additional information, based on the information I acquired during my research of the subject....

We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed in stealing a name, address, social security number, credit cards, etc. Attached is some information we received on ways to help prevent this from happening, and ways to limit the damage, should this happen to you, a client, friend, or family member. We thought this information could be useful, so we decided to pass it on.

Here are some preventative measures you can take to make it more difficult for someone to steal your identity:

Here is some information to limit the damage in case your wallet, credit cards, identification, etc. are stolen:

The key is having the toll free numbers and your credit card numbers handy so you know who to call. Keep those where you can find them easily.

File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where the item(s) was stolen, this proves to credit providers that you were diligent, and is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).

Contact your Bank(s), Credit Unions, and effected Creditors, to let them know your information has been stolen.

But here's what is perhaps most important: call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. This alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen and they should contact you by phone to authorize new credit. Get a copy of your Credit Bureau Credit Reports, and review them carefully for any errors, close any/all unused accounts, etc... When calling the FTC - Federal Trade Commission Washington DC (number below), obtain a copy of Identity Theft/Fraud reporting information kit, fill it out completely, and mail a copy to all of the organizations below (The ONLY way to fully protect your rights is to submit that information in writing, and with a copy of your Police report, to all below; and make sure you specifically ask for the Credit Bureau's to add a Identity Theft/Fraud alert statement to your record(s)....

The numbers are:

Send all these with a return receipt for Proof of Delivery

Some of these Agencies/Services may ask additional information/proof (such as a copy of your Drivers License, or other information) to ensure your contact to them isn't FRAUD in and of itself!!!!

Although we all hope this will never happen to any of us, our clients, families, or friends, having this information could really help you or someone you care about.

DISCLAIMER: The above does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you consult an appropriate advisor to discuss personal facts that would involve your own situation. At the least, immediately contact your local Police station and make a report and see how much of their advice matches this.

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