Monday, February 9, 2009

Confessions of an Identity Theft Victim

In November I received a surprising phone call from Dell asking me if I had ordered and financed two purple laptops totaling over $4000. Three payday loans and at least two new bank accounts later I think I have everything resolved. I had heard radio ads, etc. about ID theft but I didn't really know how to prevent it or what to do about it so I didn't do anything. After going through this whole time-consuming mess, this is what I wish I had known:

1. If you ever receive a letter from a company letting you know that they have lost (or may have lost) your personal information call a credit reporting agency and put a fraud alert on your account. There are three agencies and if you call one they automatically notify the others. These are the agencies: Transunion, Experian and Equifax. This fraud alert will last for 90 days but you can call again in 90 days and put it on your account again.

2. If you are not actively seeking credit you can also put a security freeze on your account. This means that credit will not be issued in your name. It's done the same way as the fraud alert. If you want the security freeze lifted from your account (when you are seeking credit) it usually just takes a phone call and a few days.

3. Most states mandate that a free credit report be available for each resident each calendar year. These reports do not provide you with your credit score but they do show you the activity on your credit history. This is helpful in identifying shady activity in your name. When I got my reports I had three false addresses, a false SS# and fraudulent requests for my credit history. To get the free report just go to the three reporting agencies listed above and order it.

I won't go into the whole headache of fixing your credit once ID theft has occurred because I am hoping most of you won't have to deal with that, but if you ever do, give me a call and I'll let you know what I did.

Friday, February 6, 2009


My wonderful friend KaLee just introduced me to the Goodreads website. It's a place where friends can share books they are reading and get recommendations. I think this is great because I am always looking for a good book to read. So if you are interested please create an account and add me to your friends. I don't like mass emailing people info like this so this is my invitation.

Here's my latest review of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling:

Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling by Richard L. Bushman

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was intrigued by the title of this book and I have found it to be very appropriate. This book, written by a practicing Mormon, is a great account of the prophet's life. He gives plenty of background information which helps the reader to understand the influences of both the period and his unique family situation that may have played a roll in his decisions.

It is a long book and it's written by a historian so you can get a little bogged down with it. I've been working on it for just over a year now and I'm almost finished. It's a good book to have on the shelf to pick up when you feel like it but I wouldn't attempt to charge straight through it.

View all my reviews.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Does anyone know why it says "undefined undefined" at the top of each of my posts? I can't figure out how it got there or how to make it go away. I think it's positioned where the date should be.