Latest 2010 Identity Theft Scams

By Amy R. Adams

Economy Still Abundant with Mortgage Scams

Today’s economy is abundant with mortgage scams. Thieves are taking advantage of homeowners’ desperation, many with offers that sound too good to be true. These scams are generally under the guise of “mortgage rescue” programs. You must be very careful and not let your house get tied up in one of these scams. And these people are professionals, so please be very careful.

Equity stripping is one of the scams. If a homeowner is facing a foreclosure, a lender claims that they are rescuing the homeowner by purchasing the property and allowing the homeowner to stay in the property as a renter. In this scam, it is not always clear to the homeowner that they are turning over ownership of their house to the lender until the transaction is complete.

Another mortgage scam occurs when illegitimate lenders or credit counseling services pretend to assist in mortgage refinancing. These companies also call themselves loan modification companies. Many times these companies collect all your personal information and request you send a check to process the paperwork for a great new rate. The check is cashed, and the company or person disappears, but your mortgage rate remains the same.

If it sounds too good to be true, be suspicious and check it out. Protect your family with a reputable identity theft product today.

Consumers Can Dispute Credit Reports with Creditors

The FTC recently testified before Congress and stated that starting July 1st, 2010, consumers will have a right to dispute credit reports directly with the creditor, also called a “furnisher” because they furnish the data to the credit reporting companies. Two examples of a creditor are a credit card company or mortgage lender.

In the past, the FTC only required consumer credit reporting companies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) to handle credit report disputes (they would in turn communicate with the furnisher directly).

This is a substantial change, at least on paper, to one of the biggest areas of consumer credit problems and identity theft. How it will work in practice, and whether it will improve things for consumers, remains to be seen.

Javelin 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report

Javelin released their 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report. It’s a mixture of positive and negative news. Identity fraud still grew by 12% in 2009, although less quickly than in 2008 (22%). However, cases are also getting reported and resolved more quickly. Javelin reports 11.1 million U.S. adults were victims in 2009 and the total fraud amount increased by 12.5 % to $54 billion. Average fraud resolution time dropped 30% to 21 hours, and nearly half of the victims file police reports, resulting in double the reported arrests, triple the prosecutions, and double the percentage of convictions in 2009.

Lastly, be aware that increasingly, identity theft starts with information that the thief finds online in public directories like white page listings. Be sure to get rid of these listings yourself, or choose an identity theft service that removes them for you. Here is how it works: Using these directories such as or, a thief looks up your info. They then have enough information to pose as you and open new accounts. It is scary to see how much info there is about each of us. Be aware and check yourself out.

About the Author: Citizens Info Phone Number Email and Address Info Being Revealed


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