Become a Tough Cookie during National ID Theft Protection Week

Now's the time to toughen up your exterior and make it harder for crooks to fool you. Last year 10 million people were victims of identity theft. Make it your goal... not to become a victim.

  This week I heard from several viewers and wouldn't you know... they were all identity theft issues.

  One was the "grandparent scam."  Bob Hollingsworth says he and his wife got a call from a young man who claimed to be their grandson.  This was a relative in need... who was distraught after crashing his car.  He needed $3,600 wired to him immediately.  Bob says his wife is a savvy customer, but she was so worried about their grandson she almost fell for it.  Thankfully they were able to check in with him... and learn he was just fine.  His car was in great condition, too.

 Simone and Thomas Tavenner alerted me to yet another  scam.  They listed a television for sale on craigslist.  You've probably heard about this one.  They got a check for an amount...  far more than what they were asking.  Now the crooks are trying to bully them into cashing the check and sending them the extra dough.  If they do... they'll likely have to pay a bounced check fee and find the authentic-looking document really is a fake.

A Cripple Creek woman got a check for close to $5,000 in the mail and it wasn't her birthday.  The crooks were trying to convince her she had won a foreign lottery... despite the fact she had never entered.  She didn't buy it... and you shouldn't either...  if you get unexpected riches.

These are just examples of what scams are circulating this week.  Next week the crooks will cook up something new and different.  Bottom line, be smarter than they are.  One step in the right direction is having the right tools.  One website offer great insight.  It's called www.ProtectYourIDNow.org  It offers an interactive quiz to help you assess your risk of identity theft as well as other helpful advice.

The Better Business Bureau and the National Foundation of Credit Counseling have designated October 17th through the 24th as National Protect Your Identity Week.  If we're all smarter than the bad guys maybe they'll all go broke!

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