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Why Your SS Number Has Been Compromised – and You Don’t Even Know It

 

by Glenn Shepard
September 12, 2017
Category: Management


 

Dallas, TX Sept 26
Paris, TX Sept 27

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40% of Americans will never gain a net worth in excess of $10,000.
Source: American Dream Education Campaign
 


 



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Blame it on Drama Queen Irma.

She’s like a teenage girl screaming “Pay attention to me, and only me!”

Just as I predicted in this newsletter two weeks ago, the media has been so obsessed with Hurricane Irma in Florida that they virtually forgot about the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

And the largest fire in Los Angeles history barely got any coverage at all.

Even though these catastrophes were of historic proportion, most Americans who don’t live in L.A., Texas, or Florida weren’t directly affected by them.

What almost got lost in all of this was another catastrophe was so large that it will impact you for the rest of your life.

So, on a scale of 1-10, how knowledgeable would you consider yourself? Let’s find out by having you answer three simple questions:

Question 1: What was this epic event that will directly impact you for the rest of your life?

Answer: Equifax reported the largest data breach in history.

There’s a very GOOD chance some very BAD guys got your Social Security number, credit card numbers, address, date of birth, and even driver’s license number last week.

Question 2: Exactly how will this affect you?

Answer: They can change your address with the IRS, file phony tax returns, and get refunds in your name.

They can apply for your Social Security benefits.

They can open credit cards in your name, max them out, and not pay. You won’t know this happened until debt collectors come after you. When you refuse to pay, the credit card company will threaten to sue you and garnishee your wages.

While you’ll probably get the case dismissed, having debt collectors hounding you for money you don’t owe will make your life miserable.

But it can get worse.

Creditors can report you to the credit bureaus for unpaid debts, which will lower your credit score. This can prevent you from getting a car loan or mortgage.

Even if you never apply for another loan, your existing credit card company can raise your interest rate when they see a significant drop in your credit score.

Even if you’re a Dave Ramsey follower who never borrows money and has no debt, this can still cost you. Your homeowner’s insurance company can jack up your premiums, or even cancel you altogether when they see a significant drop in your credit score.

Question 3: What should you do to protect yourself?

First, pull a copy of your credit report from all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) by going to www.AnnualCreditReport.com. You’re entitled to one per year at no charge, and it won’t affect your credit score.

Second, put a security freeze on your accounts so that no new accounts can be opened in your name. There is a charge for this in some states, but it’s usually in the $3 - $10 range. If you later apply for a loan, you can lift the freeze so that the lender can run a credit report on you.

Third, check your Social Security benefits statement at https://secure.ssa.gov/RIL/SiView.do

Fourth, consider using a credit monitoring service.

If you want to be a great company to work for, share this with your employees. No employer wants its employees having their identities stolen.


To Your Success,


Glenn Shepard


P.S.
 If you want to see how literate someone is about basic personal finance, ask them this simple question: “What’s the difference between your credit report, and your credit score?” You’ll be SHOCKED at how many people don’t know.

 

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