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Avoiding Identity Theft And Fraudulent Debts

You've got to love computers. They make a lot of things simple that used to be a lot harder, and take a lot more time before computers were around. But, as they are man made, they are definitely not perfect. Nowadays, especially with the advent of the Internet, everything has changed. Including the way we handle our finances. We now do much of our banking online, as well as trading stocks and paying bills. Gone are the days where we actually had to visit a bank to get a loan - now we can apply from the comfort of our own home! But sadly, this new convenient level of service comes some pretty scary possibilities for you and me to become a victim of fraud, either through identity theft or credit fraud. In fact, because a lot of your information is available on your computer and online, it is critical you remain very careful when approaching certain situations. Buyer beware has never been so important.

Lessen Your Risks Starting Today

Despite the foreboding conclusions made by some IT experts, we are not actually all helpless to the scourge of identity theft. In fact, with proper preventative steps, it is quite possible to completely avoid the risk of identity theft altogether. The credit industry already has a vehicle in place which can prevent unnecessary hardship and debt due to fraud, and it is called a security alert (or as known to most consumers, a "fraud alert"). This is simply a statement which is added to your credit report to warn your creditors to be aware of any fraudulent activity. This is an excellent step, as it will ensure that your creditor contacts you first before they can approve more credit (which obviously, the thieves would benefit from).

Although originally designed as re-active measures which effectively reacted against fraud, the fraud alerts have been better tuned to today's credit fraud reality. The issue previously, of course, was that by the time anything came up, it was too late, and either you, or the credit card company was out of money. With a new proactive approach, fraud alerts are much more effective, and can ensure you remain protected from fraud for anywhere from one month to one year.

No Bulletproof Solution

As of this time, we are of course sad to report that no one is 100% safe from financial fraud of any kind. Although security alerts are incredibly helpful, and can save you from dodgy transactions most of the time, it is important to note that they do not work all of the time. In fact, although many better quality lenders and credit card companies do offer security alerts, no company is required by law to provide them. But, they are there, and are a great safety net to ensure you don't end up paying the way for someone you don't know.

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