Thursday, November 17, 2005

Are You the Next Victim?

Although identity theft can happen anywhere to anyone at anytime, there are steps you can take to minimize the possibility. Here is information in a short quiz form to help you put it into practice for a long time.

1. When you receive an unsolicited offer of apre-approvedcredit card in the mail, you:

    A. Shred it.
    B. Throw it in the trash unopened.
    C. Open the envelope and throw the contents in the trash.
    D. Use the envelope to send back other junk mail.
2. What do you do if an expected credit card bill doesn’t arrive?
    A. Suspect it was intercepted and contact the credit card company.
    B. Figure out got off early that month.
    C. Calculate how much you think you owe and send a check.
    D. Wait a couple of weeks to see if it shows up.
3. How often do you check your credit reports?
    A. Every time you apply for a loan.
    B. Whenever you feel like it
    C. You check your credit reports regularly
    D. What are credit reports?
4. When you send mail, do you:
    A. Put it in your mailbox and raise the red flag the night before.
    B. Put it in your mailbox and raise the red flag in the morning before leaving for work.
    C. Ask your neighbor to drop it off since he passes the post office on the way to work.
    D. Drop it off at the post office yourself.
5. When you receive mail:
    A. Someone is at home and it is hand-delivered.
    B. It sits in my mailbox for only an hour.
    C. It sits in my mailbox for six hours or longer.
    D. You pick it up at the post office.
6. At this moment you know that your Social Security card is in:
    A. Your wallet or purse.
    B. The glove compartment of your car, just in case.
    C. A secured location at home.
    D. Your mother’s house.
7. How often do you check you credit card statements?
    A. As soon as the statement arrives
    B. Just before paying them
    C. You check them online using a secure computer.
    D. Whenever you get around to it.
8. How often do you check you checkbook?
    A. Once a month
    B. Every quarter
    C. Once a year
    D. You wait until the bank calls and tells you that you’re out of money.
9. When you receive an unsolicited phone call to buy something, you:
    A. Listen to the sales pitch and, if it’s a good deal, you give them whatever information they need.
    B. You hang up immediately
    C. Give names and phone numbers of friends to call.
    D. Report them since you’re signed up on the “Do Not Call” list.
10. Where do you keep your financial reports in your home?
    A. In s locked safe
    B. On the nearest flat surface
    C. In a file cabinet
    D. In an unlocked safe, since you can’t always remember the combination.

                  Tune in next tomorrow for Part Two and the official answers. In the meantime, here is the Score Card to help you get an indication of your ID IQ.

                  All 20 correct: Excellent. You’re doing everything correct to prevent identity theft. You are minimizing your risk of becoming its next victim. Although, with all your knowledge and preventative measures, you still can never completely prevent identity theft, you can help others learn what you know. I would like to have you on my team.

                  Please contact me at and tell me what you are doing. You may as well be paid for what you are doing right.

                  15 to 19 right: Good. You seem to have a good grasp of what to do and are doing it, but there is still a need for improvement in a few area to minimize your risk of becoming the next victim.

                  10 to 16 right: You have plenty of room for improvement to improve your ID IQ and minimize your risk of becoming the next victim.

                  1 to 10 right: You are a prime candidate for disaster. Take steps to improve your ID IQ. Study what you believe are the correct answers. Compare them with the official answers I will report next time. Then you will be in a better position to come up with your plan to minimize your risk of becoming the next victim.

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                  Behavior Management Expert and Maximizing Your Potential Mentor™ Etienne A. Gibbs is a life-observing author, engaging talk show host, humorous speaker, and successful trainer who teaches small business owners, managers, and employees how to speak, think, and perform in ways that will help them shine. In the end, they maximize their critical thinking, speaking, and management skills.

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