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Identity Theft
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Identity Theft

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 to recover.

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 personal data.

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.


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