Identity Theft Alert! Beware, Bogus Scams Steal Everything!

Seeing an identity theft alert on the TV or news is becoming more and more common place.

Identity Theft Alert! Someone is trying to rip you off!

How sad that the rise of identity theft is due in large part to the troubled economy.

Bogus scams are everywhere and are definitely something everyone needs to be aware of.

Scams run the gambit in every area you can possibly come up with.

Some of these scams include medical scams, travel scams, charity scams, home repair, financial privacy and fake checks, just to name a few.

Go to identity theft scams, and charity scams to see more information on just a few of the areas where identity theft can strike.

Identity Theft Alert: Home Repairs Bogus Waterproofing

Many homes have basements that flood every time there is a good rain.

If this is the case you many definitely need to waterproof the basement.

  • Look into the many cheaper options, as waterproofing is an expensive repair to have to make.
  • Many times the soil around your house is eroding and may slope toward the house.

Your land can also have not been properly leveled so the drainage can go toward the foundation.

  • On the cheaper end, your gutters may be clogged causing water to flood your basement.
  • If a repairman comes around and tries to give you a hard sell and says, “you have to fix this immediately”, don’t panic and hire the man immediately.

Always get other estimates from legitimate, insured, bonded and licensed local companies.

Beware of traveling contractors and their identity theft scams
  • Don’t be pressured into doing something on the spur of the moment.

For more identity theft alert information on how to protect your home go to, do it yourself home security.

I’ve heard horror stories of people hiring these scam artist’s having their whole basement dug up with the repairmen installing inside gutters beneath the basement floor and charging over $30,000, sometimes more.

All for something that would have more than likely only been a minor outside repair for just a fraction of what they charged.

My neighbor had a similar problem and had a sump pump installed so he didn’t have to dig up the whole basement floor.

  • There are also many paints that are damp proofing and sealants that can take care of the problem.
  • The main thing to remember is not to jump into getting anything fixed from a repairman that is pedaling his abilities from neighborhood to neighborhood and to seek out a qualified company to do the work so you don’t get taken for a ride with some scam.

Identity Theft Alert: Home Repairs Chimney Improvement Scams

To be hit with a chimney improvement scam can make all of your faith in people go up in smoke!

This particular identity theft alert is extremely important as more and more people are becoming involved in this home repair scam.

  • Everyone should check out their chimney on a regular basis, at least once a year, and do cleaning, repair and maintenance as needed.

This is especially important if you use yours quite a bit: you need to make sure it’s safe and doesn’t need a new liner.

  • Identity theft alert: The scam starts when you decide to have someone check out your chimney.

Not all problems will be visible to the naked eye so, unless you have cracks, missing or loose bricks, you will probably be in danger of having a scam pulled on you.

  • These repair scam people will be more than happy to come to your home for a $35-$50 cleaning fee and then proceed to tell you that you need thousands of dollars worth of repairs for your chimney to work safely.
  • Most of the work done by these fly-by-night people is not needed and it’s all your hard earned money that goes up in smoke.
  • Identity theft alert: Always check whether your repairman comes from a reliable company, is bonded and insured and has a license to do that type of work.
  • Don’t agree to any expensive repairs and hire an independent home inspector to judge whether you need the repairs stated.

It’s better to spend a little more up front than to try to save a few extra dollars and end up throwing away a lot more on bogus repairs.

Identity Theft Alert: Home Repairs Drive-By-Repair Scams

Home repair

The scam with the most notoriety is the scam that involves home repair fraud.

  • Identity theft alert:

These scam artists cruise through various neighborhoods and come to your front door to sell their diverse services.

Tip: If the repair truck has a license plate that is miles away or out of state, you are probably being scammed.

  • A particular scam that is very popular right now involving repairmen from out of the area is an offer to recoat your driveway or roof.

I know people that have had these scammers make a promise to extend the life of wood or asphalt by recoating.

This is a big time scam! It involves covering your shingles with nothing but regular paint.

All this does is make your shingles look new and shiny.

  • Also popular are the scammers that offer to reseal your driveway who are able to offer you a “deal” by using the left over materials from their last job.
  • Identity theft alert: Most of the time your driveway is just re-coated with used, worthless motor oil, which they charge a few hundred dollars to do.

Identity Theft Alert:
Automobile Repairs

California Bureau of Automotive Repair ran an undercover sting about 2 years ago.

  • Approximately half the repairs were scams. The bureau used a permanent marker to mark auto parts before they were taken in for repairs.
  • Inconspicuously do the same on your oil filters, brake pads, alternators, air filter, spark plugs and other visible areas.

Go to motor vehicle theft to become knowledgeable on all the areas to be aware of and how to protect yourself.

  • Always ask for the old part when you pick up your car.

If the part is missing your mark you’re probably getting a used part from a previous repair job and your car still has the old part.

Are you in the process of buying a new car?

Cars are prime targets for identity theft.
  • Identity theft alert: Before you talk about the “deal” many dealers will quickly offer you the keys, and make a copy of your driver’s license.
  • While you are out test driving the car the dealer will get on the computer or phone.

The dealer has your license number and name and is able to access your credit history quicker than you can snap your fingers.

  • Your credit history gives them the amount you paid for your car, what your mortgage payments are, and the amounts on each credit card.
  • This also gives the dealer information about your spending habits (most people spend 10 to 15% more than the monthly payments on their last vehicles).

Identity Theft Alert: Keep your drivers license in your wallet or purse until After the negotiations.

Identity Theft Alert: Anti-Theft Measure For A New Car

Etching the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) is one of the most popular consumer rip-offs at this time.

  • Your car’s VIN number is acid-etched into your car’s windshield or side window at the dealers to prevent altering from car thieves.
  • The cost of this process to the dealer is less than $100 but, the dealer charges an average of five times more. Ouch!
  • Identity theft alert: You don’t need to go to the expense of having this done because alter-proof VIN numbers are displayed on your car elsewhere, such as your engine block or the driver’s doorjamb.

Stick to the “real” thing and don’t get stuck with a fake.

Identity Theft Alert:
Medical Treatments

To make sure your hospital bills are on the “up and up” make sure you ask to have them itemized on a daily basis to make sure you are not being over charged or paying for services and items you never received.

  • If you ask to have this done the hospital Must provide this for you.

Do this as soon as possible when the information is still fresh in your mind.

Go to medical identity theft to learn more ways to protect yourself.

Identity Theft Alert:
Bring Your Own Drugs

Hospital’s charge totally outrageous prices for their drugs and routine medical items.

The price of drugs from the hospital is normally four times the price of Wal-Mart, as an example.

  • Ask your doctor which drugs you’ll need after a procedure and have your doctor call in the prescription so you can take that and your other normal prescriptions to the hospital with you.
  • If your hospital allows you to bring your own prescriptions, the hospital will have you sign off when you’re admitted that you are supplying and administering those drugs.

Identity Theft: Travel Scam

Wow! The enticing, low-fare offers on flights in the newspaper and online draw you to them like a moth to a flame.

Vacation spots are hot ticket items for travel scams.
  • When you call you find out the flights are all sold out.

This may technically not be considered a scam but, it certainly seems like it.

  • From one minute after midnight to approximately 1 a.m. on Wed., all airline computer systems are inundated with low-fare reservations that had been booked but were never paid for.
  • This particular 1 hour window of bargain prices may vary and are dependent on the time zone where you’re living and where the airline you’re flying is based.

Identity Theft Alert: Travel Scam Splitting The Markup

Don’t believe you are getting the best deal by booking online.

  • Websites such as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz buy rooms for a discount from hotels and then charge you a 24 to 48% markup.
  • If a hotel room is advertised for $100 a night online, directly call the hotel and offer $85.

You have to figure the hotel is offering the room to the discounter for about $65.

The hotel will still make a $20 profit by booking from you rather than the website.

Tip: Directly negotiate with the sales director or the on-duty manager rather than a desk clerk or low level reservations operator.

  • There is also “double dipping” involved in room service charges on what resembles a credit card receipt.
  • The hotel will charge an outrageous amount for a meal and then a service charge of normally 2.5%, state tax and gratuity from 15-20% which is also added on.
  • Instead of showing a total for the amount, a “subtotal” is shown by the hotel which leaves a space for you to include a tip.

Wow! By the time you pay for these meals you could take another trip, fully paid for.

Identity theft alert will provide you with some updates on the most popular scams so you are able to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams and identity theft.

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