Our government is working hard to reassure us that identity theft is a figment of our imaginations, but if you’re a victim in one of those not-so-imaginary crimes, there are proactive steps you can take.
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I recently had several conversations with Shaun Callahan of The Identity Protection Company. I talk with identity protection companies nearly every day of the week, but Shaun and his company came across more personal than most. First, almost none of our conversations discussed his business or how I could drive more business his way (which is the route these conversations take 90 percent of the time). Shaun talked about how he got into the business (assisting others facing insurmountable damage due to identity theft), and he spent nearly all of his time talking about the steps anyone could and should take to minimize the damage.
Shaun practices the shareware model of education. He runs several Web sites that offer steps to prevent and recover from identity theft. All his information is free. He figures that although most consumers will read his information and follow his advice, a few will figure it’s easier to let his company do the laborious leg work. Shaun even said that I could reprint all his advice without including a single link to his company. Either he’s practicing a hopeful form of reverse psychology or he genuinely cares about solving the problem. In case it’s a successful implementation of the former, some of his Web sites include Hello My Name is Protected and Free Credit Reminder.com.
Here’s some of Shaun’s advice: