Identity Theft: A Difference between Caution and Paranoia

Don’t Lose Your Mind When Watching Out for Identity Theft

Okay, I will admit that I can sound pretty doom and gloom when it comes to fighting identity theft. In fact, one might believe that identity theft risks are lurking around every corner. While I do emphasize the importance of being vigilant when it comes to fighting identity theft, there are some things that can be cleared up so you’re not afraid to breathe lest you risk becoming a victim.

Not Everyone Is Your Enemy

Yes, paying with your credit card online can be a risk. However, I’ve had people tell me that they’re even afraid to sign up for credit monitoring services because they’re required to pay for the service online. Since credit monitoring is an important tool in fighting identity theft, this is like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Credit monitoring services are usually paid for on a monthly or quarterly basis. Because of this, one-time-use credit card numbers won’t work for the billing arrangement. However, that doesn’t mean you should be afraid to provide the credit monitoring service with your credit card information. As long as you’re dealing with a credible monitoring service, you shouldn’t worry in the least about providing them with payment details.

Make Sure a Charge is Fraudulent before Disputing It

One of our readers saw an unfamiliar charge on her credit card and automatically thought she was the victim of identity theft. Before actually investigating the charge, she called the credit card company, disputed the charge and closed her account.

A few days later, she realized the charge was for an online purchase she had indeed made. The name on the statement was different than the website she purchased the product from, but it was indeed the company who had sent her the product. Needless to say, she felt a bit foolish.

Remember, if you see something that doesn’t look right on your credit card statement, it may indeed be an indicator of identity theft, but make sure you investigate the charge before jumping to any conclusions.

While I always advise to err on the side of caution when it comes to identity theft risks, I also think it’s a good idea to use sound judgment.

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