In today’s world, there are more threats to your financial stability and your credit score than ever before. With emerging technologies and the ease of sharing information online, those who wish to do you harm have relatively open access. Each year, millions of Americans have their identities stolen, their credit cards used fraudulently, or end up with debts they didn’t incur. While some of this may be easily reversible, some of these crimes can leave a lasting impact on your quality of life. In some cases, you may be left to fight for months or even years, over the fraudulent actions of someone else.
Thankfully, there are many experienced consumer protection attorneys in Los Angeles who can help you if you find yourself fighting against creditors and lenders. But in the meantime, here are some tips that you should keep in mind, if you wish to avoid having your identity stolen or your credit compromised:
Before you ever make any kind of purchase or donation, especially online, do your research to make sure that the entity is reputable. You can check with the Better Business Bureau or local consumer protection agency. Consider doing some digging on their website, and actually calling the number(s) provided to confirm their identity.
Don’t be too quick to give out your personal information, such as your birthdate, social security number, full name, street address, credit card number, or bank account information. Beware of calls from companies asking you to “verify your personal information,” even if you already have accounts with them.
Whenever you engage in an online transaction, before you ever put in your payment or contact information, look up at your web browser bar. If you see “http” at the beginning of the URL, this means that you’re on an unsecured site, and should not be asked to enter any personal info. If you see “https,” this is a secured site, and is generally safe to make purchases on.
Email marketing is an easy tactic these days, and is one that many fraudulent companies use to gain access to your money and identity. Never send personal information through an email! Ignore and/or report any suspicious emails from companies trying to sell you credit, or scare you into giving your money or information. And while you’re at it, unsubscribe from all credit marketing lists.
Want to learn more about how to protect your credit, or what to do if it has been compromised? Reach out to us at Martin & Bontrager today and ask for your free consultation.