Question: Just since Thanksgiving, my daughter and my cousin have been victims of identity theft because of their credit card numbers being stolen. Around this time last year, my step-father even had his identity stolen while filing his taxes online! Is there anything I can do to not be next? I’m afraid to buy anything on my credit card or type in any personal information online.
— Amanda in Oklahoma
Howard Dvorkin CPA answers…
Let me start in the middle: Tax ID theft is a serious problem. I wrote about it almost exactly a year ago, and last week was Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. Event though the week is over, I urge anyone who files taxes to check out the link.
As for identity theft in general, it’s indeed a national scourge. Last year, Debt.com added up 100 Days of Credit Card Theft and plotted it on a map of the United States. The results are literally graphic.
What can you do? I made this video to explain it as clearly as possible…
That’s an overview, of course. If you want to learn more, check out Debt.com’s How to Prevent Identity Theft section. Finally, I suggest looking into an identity theft protection service. Debt.com partners with an affordable and reliable one called Credit Power. If you’re that worried, Amanda, Credit Power’s low fee can give you peace of mind.
Have a debt question?
Email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org and Howard Dvorkin will review it. Dvorkin is a CPA, chairman of Debt.com, and author of two personal finance books, Credit Hell: How to Dig Yourself Out of Debt and Power Up: Taking Charge of Your Financial Destiny.