Tag Archives: Indiana

Security freeze information for Indiana residents

The Indiana Attorney General’s office has information about security freezes, which are free for residents of Indiana (and some other states—you’ll have to check your own state’s laws if you don’t live here).

You can download the information here, or visit the Indiana Consumer website. I’ll put a link on the Fraud Prevention Resources page as well.

A security freeze (or credit freeze) prevents new lines of credit from being opened in your name, even if an identity thief has your Social Security number and other information, by adding an extra step to the credit application process.

Freeze your credit; if you live in Indiana, that is

Map of USA with Indiana highlighted
Image via Wikipedia

A credit freeze is a really nice tool in the fight against identity theft. Essentially, a freeze makes it impossible for anyone to open new credit accounts in your name even if they have all your personal information.

Of course, it adds a little extra work if you want to open a new line of credit, but I think it’s a fair trade. Besides, didn’t we all learn a little lesson in 2008 about what happens when it’s too easy to obtain credit?

At any rate, it turns out if you’re an Indiana resident you can request a credit freeze free of charge. It’s a right provided by Indiana law to Indiana residents. I don’t know if other states have this type of thing in place (after all, I can’t do research on 49 attorneys general in the time I’m taking to write this). If you ain’t from around here, check online with your state’s attorney general to find out.

You can request a freeze either by paper mail or online. More information is available at the Indiana AG’s website. Check it out today!

Criminal Identity Theft: Indiana needs to get with the program.

Let’s set up a little scenario here.

Someone steals your identity and creates false identification using your information. This person then commits a crime, for which he is later arrested. He gives your name, SSN, address and other information to the police during the arrest.

The criminal then bonds out, but is due to appear in court on a certain date. Naturally, he never shows up. The police mount a search, which leads them directly to your front door.

A complete mess ensues.

At some point, however, probably after a massive amount of humiliation and stress (and possible physical injury, depending on what the police think you’re capable of), the “system” figures out that the person they were really looking for was also an identity thief, and that you yourself aren’t guilty of anything.

So your arrest record is expunged and you go on with your life, right?

Not in Indiana, apparently.

As it turns out, Indiana has “does not have [a] specific law” regarding the expungement and correction of arrest records for victims of criminal identity theft.

I’m not saying you won’t be able to get your records expunged, but I’ll bet it takes years upon years of sustained effort, red tape and extreme hassle. You’ll basically encounter a wall of, “We don’t have to, so we don’t want to.”

I guess we’re not alone—a lot of states fall under the “no specific law” category at this time.

But you know something? I’ve never been one to buy into the herd mentality, either with regards to action or inaction. In other words, just because not that many other states are doing it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.

Not many people are running truly non-profit websites about fraud and identity theft prevention, either. Doesn’t stop me, though, does it?

U.S. Postal Service Job Scam

Finally, an employment scam post that isn’t about mystery shopping!

I signed up for the Indiana Attorney General’s Office consumer alert messages a while back. I strongly suggest you do the same. I’ll just print the full text of today’s alert, since it’s short:

Attorney General Greg Zoeller and the U.S. Postal Service caution Hoosiers about a scam that offers a study guide to help pass a postal exam with the promise of a full-time job. There is no truth to this offer. The U.S. Postal Service is not currently hiring any full-time workers. Furthermore, the information found in the study guide priced at $129.95, is actually offered free of charge at libraries around the state.

This is a classic scam: charging money for information that’s available free of charge. Throwing in the promise of a full-time position is just a tactic to get people who might be looking for work to act quickly.

I’m guessing there’s a reason the Post Office isn’t hiring at the moment: anybody who already has a full-time P.O. job is going to hold onto it for dear life until the economy straightens out, even if they were considering quitting or retiring before.

I don’t blame ’em, do you?

New Identity Theft Laws in Indiana

The video is available here.

It looks like Indiana has been taking some proactive steps in the fight against identity crime, including stiffer penalties for violations (including child identity theft and businesses who don’t properly dispose of sensitive information).

It’s good that they’re trying to make it easier to block access to credit if your identity is stolen, but don’t be misled: identity theft still a major hassle to go through.

They also don’t mention anything about whether or not the system would help in cases of medical or other types of identity theft. Since it’s mostly dealing with credit, I’m guessing not. Still, these new laws are a giant step in the right direction.