'Identity Thief' Hits Theaters and Increases Awareness of Crime
In real life, identity theft is no laughing matter; Equifax offers tips to
ATLANTA, Feb. 8, 2013
ATLANTA, Feb. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --It may be the thing of Hollywood movies,
but identity theft is a very real problem in the United States. With this
week's opening of the movie, "Identity Thief," the story focuses on a man
(Jason Bateman) hit hard by identity theft when a woman (Melissa McCarthy)
racks up credit card charges in his name. The Personal Solutions division of
Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) is providing tips to avoid becoming a real-life
More than 11.6 million adults were victims of identity theft in 2011,
according to Javelin Strategy & Research. Child identity theft is also a
significant problem, which many people don't realize. 2.5 percent of U.S.
households with children under age 18 have at least one child whose personal
information has been compromised by identity criminals.
At this time of year, Equifax is particularly focused on educating consumers
about tax identity theft, a growing problem. In the federal fiscal year 2012,
the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Identity Protection Specialized Unit
received 448,809 cases, up nearly 80 percent over the previous year.
Ten tips for preventing identity theft include:
oKeep birth certificates, Social Security cards and other personal
documents in a lockbox in your home. Make sure they are put away when
someone is working in your home or even if you have a roommate.
oWhen disposing of documents, use a diagonal shredder, which makes
documents harder to piece together than a traditional shredder does.
oDon't leave outgoing bills, government forms or tax forms in a mailbox.
Take them directly to the post office. Have your mail held by the post
office while on vacation.
oDon't put your driver's license number on your personal checks. Consider
writing just your first initial and last name instead of your full name.
oDon't toss credit card receipts in public places.
oInstall anti-virus software, anti-malware software and a firewall on your
computer and keep them up to date. A tech-savvy identity thief can use a
virus to get personal information from your computer without you even
oUse unique passwords that are different for each website.
oDon't put your birthdate or other sensitive information on your social
media accounts, even just the month and day. A thief can figure out the
year you were born by looking at your posts.
oYou're entitled to one free credit report each year, which you can obtain
at www.annualcreditreport.com. Review your report for unfamiliar lines of
credit, an account you didn't open, errors in your personal information or
Social Security number.
oFor added security, consider a credit monitoring and identity theft
protection product for yourself such as Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan, or
for your family, such as Equifax Complete™ Family Plan, which can help
protect the identities of two adults and up to four minor children in one
Equifax Personal Solutions empowers consumers with the confidence and control
to be their financial best. Find out more about Equifax's innovative suite of
credit monitoring and identity protection products at www.equifax.com. Get
smart information on everything from credit to retirement, all in one place at
the Equifax Finance Blog, blog.equifax.com.
Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information
solutions, providing businesses of all sizes and consumers with information
they can trust. We organize and assimilate data on more than 500 million
consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide, and use advanced analytics and
proprietary technology to create and deliver customized insights that enrich
both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 18 countries
and is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is
traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. For more
information, please visit www.equifax.com.
Contact: Caroline Wilbert, +1-404-965-5021, firstname.lastname@example.org; Michele
Cacdac-Jones, +1-678-795-7885, email@example.com
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