Debbie Fetterly, ID Theft Victim, says, "I felt very violated. It's like my life as I knew it had ended right there. "
Debbie Fetterly became a victim of identity theft with a stop at a gas station. She went inside to pay, and came back to broken glass and a stolen identity: a mess she's still cleaning up three years later.
"I looked in and saw my purse was stolen. I was just frozen in time. I just couldn't believe it. These kinds of things happen to other people, not to me," says Fetterly.
She's right about one thing: it does happen to other people - 11-million just last year, making identity theft the single biggest source of consumer complaints to the FTC.
What Debbie learned from the experience is a good lesson for everyone.
"I don't carry credit cards in my purse anymore, I don't carry my social security card, I carry minimal cash, my purse is practically empty," says Fetterly.
That's tip one: don't make it easy. Other things you can do? Keep an eye on your credit.
Bladismir Rojo, US Postal Inspector, say, " Check your credit report twice a year. I check it almost every quarter."
Blad Rojo is a US postal inspector who investigates this crime constantly. Other advice?
Rojo, says, "Make sure you shred documents, don't just throw documents that have personal information in the garbage."
And one final tip: make it nearly impossible for anyone to open credit in your name with a credit freeze. (website) I'll show you how to do it free right here at Money Talks News dot com.