Why would anyone want to be me?

Well maybe not “me” per se, but maybe some would like to capitalize on my good credit history. It takes time and effort to establish creditworthiness. Sadly, there are people, called ID thieves that would like to piggyback on my efforts. With some very basic information, those ID thieves, in a matter of a few hours, could open 5 to 10 accounts and charge up over $50,000 in merchandise. Moreover, I would never know until the bills staring rolling in later this month. If that would happen, it is estimated that it could take over 40 hours of my time to contact creditors and prove that I did not allow the account to be opened.

In 2007, 8.4 million people were victims of ID Theft. ID theft is causing so much concern that a group of nonprofits and national consumer advocate groups have joined together during the week of October 19 to 25 to create National Protect Your Identity Week. The initiative is designed to bring identity theft awareness and prevention programs to consumers in communities across the country. But you don’t have to wait until October to check out the movement's online resources.

Someone just might want to take away your good name and your good credit reputation so it pays to take the time to learn about how to protect your identity. Make an investment in knowledge. You have worked hard to create a good credit history, and yes, when it comes to using your good name to open account and obtain expensive goods and service, someone might want to be you!

Check back during National Protect Your Identity Week for posts about how to protect or restore your good name.

Cathy Williams is a former writer for MMI.

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