Identifying the Culprit

Each year the Federal Trade Commission releases a report on the top areas for consumer complaints, and 2011 was the 12th consecutive year that the same culprit ranked number one – Identify Theft. On Wednesday, June 6, Bankrate® commentator, Lucy Lazarony, reported that 15% of all consumer complaints to the FTC during the last year (or about 240,000 complaints) radiated from identity theft-related issues. Approximately one-fourth of those arise from tax related activities. Imagine filing your tax return and having it rejected because “your return” had already been filed!
Part of a good financial plan, is a regular review of your credit report. A few minutes each 4 months checking one of the three national reporting agencies would provide piece of mind and also reduce the opportunity for others to victimize you. Since you can check your credit report, without cost, once a year on the site:, there is no good financial reason not to do so.

Identity thieves are out there – beware and take necessary precautions.

Chris Honenberger is the former President and CEO of Clearpoint. He has significant experience in law, banking and finance, and executive leadership, and during his time at Clearpoint he guided the agency toward its mission of “consumer health through financial education.”

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