As an involved member of the lending community, Option One
Mortgage is concerned about the growing number of cases of
identity theft in the United States. It is hard to believe,
but recent studies by Gartner Research and Harris Interactive
indicate that the problem, whereby millions of people falling
victim to the crime each year, may be even more widespread
than was originally thought.
Option One Mortgage encourages its customers and all consumers
to be proactive about protecting themselves from identity
theft. All it takes is for a criminal to get a hold of one
of your key identifying pieces of information, i.e. , Social
Security number, driver’s license number, or credit
card number, and instantaneously you can suddenly find yourself
in a situation that takes a lot of time and money from which
Do not give your Social Security number to anyone unless
you absolutely have to. Shred any documents with personal
information on them before you throw them away, including
especially credit card receipts. Mail your bills from a public
mailbox rather than from your home.
Do not respond to emails that ask for personal information.
Option One Mortgage warns consumers to be especially careful
of “spoof” emails, which appear, even down to
the logo, to come from a trusted company, but are instead
carefully designed fakes meant to fool people into revealing
If you doubt an email’s veracity, contact the web site
from which it purports to come directly and find out if it
truly originates with them.
Be cautious when shopping online. Only use sites that are
encrypted for security, and clean out your cache when you
are done. Clever hackers can even get information right off
your hard drive.