Protecting Your Identity While In the Military

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Identity theft protection news and reviews.

Believe it or not, one of the easiest targets for identity theft is members of the U.S. Military. Why? Because the majority of military individuals are deployed or do not use their credit frequently enough to notice any signs of identity theft. Often friends or even family members that are aware their fellow military member is deployed will take advantage by using their credit. As a member of the military, there are ways you can protect your identity while still serving your country.

Active Duty Alerts
In the event a consumer is being deployed, even if for a few months, they should contact the three credit reporting agencies and place an “active duty alert” on your credit. That means that in the event someone tries to use the military member’s credit while they are deployed, the creditor must take extra precautions and steps in order to ensure they are dealing with that individual prior to issuing credit. The active duty alert is automatically placed on a consumer’s credit report for a period of one year. In the event the individual will be deployed for longer, they can renew the alert.

Other Preventive Measures
Whether or not a military member is deployed or not, they need to take the right steps to protect their identity. Some of the ways a military member and their families can protect their identity are:

  • Shredding All Documentation – This includes anything with the military member or their immediate family’s name, date of birth, social security number or even address.
  • Protecting Social Security Numbers – Never use a social security number as any form of ID. That is what a driver’s license and military ID card are for.
  • Do Not Give Out Personal Information – Often a member of the military will be contacted by scam artists that claim they are part of their military branch or affiliates and are verifying information. Before giving your personal information to that individual, ask for them to verify who they are and take the steps to verify that information yourself as well.
  • Protect Your Military ID – Your military ID should be protect just the same as your drivers license or even your social security number. Never let it get into the hands of another individual and keep it in a safe place at all times.

As a member of the military, you are at just as much risk, if not higher, for identity theft. By knowing how to safeguard your personal information you can ensure that while you are serving this country, an identity thief is not committing fraud under your name.

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