5
Sep

Types of Identity Theft and How To Avoid

stolen credit cardIdentity theft is the act of stealing someone’s identity in order to gain certain benefits from accessing the person’s personal resources such as their finances. There are five different types of identity theft such as:

Criminal identity theft – this is when a person gives up another person’s name and personal information to authorities during an ongoing investigation or when arrested.

Financial identity theft – this occurs when a thief or another person steals an individual’s personal information to commit a crime that results in a person’s financial injury.

Identity cloning – it is where a person assumes to be someone else by using someone’s information to behave like them in every aspect daily.

Medical identity theft – it is a situation where a person takes another individual’s personal information so as to get medical care or purchase drugs.

Child identity theft – this is when a child’s identity is used by another person for personal gain.

The most common types of Identity Theft is the financial identity theft which is what I’m going to look at. According to statistics, approximately 15 million Americans are identity theft victims resulting in financial losses of about $50 billion. Financial Identity Theft results in dire consequences that really affects a person such as Damaged Credit, Credit and Debit card fraud, Checking and savings account fraud, Investment account fraud, Mortgage and other loan fraud and finally Tax fraud.

How one’s identity gets stolen.

  • Creating new credit accounts in someone’s name.
  • Hacking into someone’s bank account, credit union or credit company base.
  • Stealing bank credit statements from someone’s mail.
  • Stealing a person’s Personal Identity Number (PIN) at an ATM, gas station or grocery store.
  • Cloning one’s credit card information from places where the cards are swiped.
  • Sending false e-mails that appear to be from one’s bank asking for personal information or making anonymous phone calls seeking one’s information.
  • Human Resource departments of companies where your personal employment information is.

Ways to protect oneself from financial identity theft

  • Restrain from over-sharing personal information on social media.
  • Maintaining anti-virus and anti-malware software for personal computers.
  • Handling one’s financial documents with caution.
  • Creating strong passwords for any personal accounts opened.
  • Monitoring one’s bank and credit accounts strictly.

The government has been helpful through forming government agencies that aid in the fight against financial identity theft.

21
Jul

Top 3 Ways To Repair Your Credit

credit scoreNowadays, many people struggle with being able to control their expenses and they end up letting it get out of control. Sadly, this happens to many people all around the world and they end up falling deep into bad credit. Thankfully, there are many different ways to repair credit scores. It is important to take immediate action when one sees that their credit score is not in the best condition. When it comes to financial problems, they are not that easy to solve so always be careful and remember to think wisely in what you do when it comes to your credit because that could affect you and how you live for the rest of your life.

Realizing Your Mistakes

Before just jumping into to the other steps of credit repair, it is best to start off by realizing your mistakes and how you hurt your credit. It is always important to take a step back and sit down in order to look at your previous mistakes and actions that led to the credit problem starting. This step allows people to realize what not to do again so they don’t damage their credit anymore.

Set Up Payment Reminders

consultation with a credit counselorThe reason why most credit scores drop is because people forget to pay their bills or they are not able to. Therefore, it would be best to set up payment reminders. Usually, people do this by setting up reminders on their phones, computers, or other devices they may have. Set up the reminder just a few days after you have received your paycheck. It’s important to set up these reminders close to paycheck day so that the bills can be paid first. People who usually don’t set up reminders end up receiving their paychecks and blow them on other things and then in the end when their bills come, they have nothing left to pay them, which leads to a drop in their credit score, so always remember that bills comes first and everything else comes second!

Changing Money Habits

Many people tend to have low credit scores because of their irresponsible money-spending habits. The first step would be to set a budget and not spend as much as you usually would. Always save up in order to pay off debts. By doing this, your credit is slowly building itself up. Also, make sure to always completely distinguish between your wants and needs, as some people can get them confused and they end up just purchasing everything! Overall, just be very wise and careful about what you spend your money on because the main goal is to save and pay off debts that are weighing down your credit score.

Overall, your credit score is not going to suddenly conform back into good shape with these three steps, it is going to take time, but it’s all worth it because in the end your credit score will be great and your money habits will be superb.  If you need additional help, considering consulting with a credit repair company to see if they can help your situation.

19
Feb

Migrating Gold into a Roth IRA

With mounting inflation, Medicare bailouts and Social Security limitations, the horizon is looking less than a secure place to invest and maintain savings for retirement. The national debt continues on the rise while wages lag lethargically behind. There is a growing feeling that the national debt may result in an unmanageable and unstable platform, possibly creating a financial panic. We can blame the continued devaluation of the American dollar (continuing to roll off the printing presses) and speculate that our retirement plans may be crippled because of it. There is a firm belief that to protect our wealth an alternative is needed, and so far that option looks like a Gold Roth IRA. Gold has been popularly viewed as an independent entity in market cycles, a hedge-type life preserver in a questionable economy.

The Jeopardy of Paper Assets

The economy has taken a beating since early 2008 as a result of voluminous mortgage foreclosures and bank failures. With the devaluation of the dollar the paper IRA assets have followed with a morbid regularity. This means Roth and conventional IRAs have taken a downward spiral in value, spurning a need for diversification for investors. At the time the question became “What assets were less risky that didn’t have such problems?” The overwhelming response was gold.

Compared to paper, gold shines as a more trusted and stable commodity that can withstand the downward trends and fluctuations in the market. In fact, gold has been considered a financial haven and savior against inflation. It’s a matter of simple math: paper assets which include cash, bonds and stocks have been on the decline whereas gold has steadily increased in value. It’s a no-brainer. Gold protects the big three: appreciation, safety and diversification, and these are important matters to consider for the average IRA, Roth IRA or 401k. Without a gold-backed IRA, a retirement plan may not have sufficient value to sustain its clients.

Why Gold as the Savior?

Retirement is a time when it’s too late to wonder if the money will be there. Gold has proven to be long term, stable and increasing in value. Adversely, the stock market has been and will be subject to wild and unpredictable fluctuations. Unfair or not, there is a notion that it could suffer a catastrophic crash or a dangerous and continuous downward trend. Let’s face it; the stock market hasn’t exactly exhibited a pristine history of financial gain and stability. Client portfolios have dipped and suffered right along with it. The proof is in the pudding when you consider that a 1-ounce gold coin and a $20 bill held the same value in 1920, but in today’s economy, the current worth of the gold coin could certainly purchase that suit but the paper bill would not. As an example, gold prices reaped a 450 percent increase since 2000 whereas the Dow Jones averaged a gain of 20 percent.

Converting to a Gold Roth IRA

A rollover to a Gold IRA is relatively easy for clients to accomplish. It entails nothing more complicated that adding gold (or other precious metals) to a current IRA plan. Clients have the option of transferring the entire amount or a portion of the amount into a self-directed gold IRA. This is termed a “direct rollover.” There are no tax penalties levied by the IRS for making the transfer. This only requires taking immediate possession of the gold assets or arrange to have them stored in a depository that is IRS-approved. One such depository is the Self Directed IRA Services resource. The process is quick and hassle-free. Today, this option is looking rosier to those who have everything to gain and nothing to lose.