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|Hacking & ID Theft: Are You Next?|
|News Releases - Science & Technology|
|Written by Ginny Grimsley|
|Monday, 20 January 2014 14:26|
At least 110 million consumers were affected by the hack involving Target and Neiman Marcus retailers. Whether or not millions more will have their identities manipulated and finances ruined within the coming months due to more breaches of security at other stores is anyone’s guess, says identity theft recovery expert Scott A. Merritt.
“By necessity, I became an expert on identity theft. My information was stolen in 2006, and in repairing the damage, I learned some not-so-obvious ways we can all protect against identity theft in the first place,” says Merritt, CEO of Merritt & Associates (scottamerritt.com) and author of "Identity Theft Do's and Don'ts."
Merritt’s problems began quickly. While disputing financial charges and dealing with resulting business problems, in 2007 he was stopped for a traffic violation and arrested on a false outstanding felony warrant. He immediately knew why.
“I had to enlist my U.S. congressman and convince the state police, NCIC, FBI and Secret Service that I didn’t commit the felonies. For a few years, I had to prove that the prints did not match the false record in question. After legal action, however, I was able to have this corrected.”
Unfortunately, the millions affected by the recent hacks may be dealing with similar repercussions in the years ahead, he says.
Before you become a victim of identity theft, Merritt offers seven ways to guard against it.
“Of course, you can greatly reduce being a victim of such recent hacks that occurred at the major retailers by using cash more often,” he says. “But if you’re going to use credit, use a card from a national bank or a national credit union and never a debit card, no exceptions.”
About Scott A. Merritt
Scott A. Merritt is the CEO and sole stockholder of Merritt Ventures, Inc., doing business as Merritt & Associates and author of "Identity Theft Do's and Don'ts." He has more than a decade of experience in the real estate industry, financial planning, insurance, investment services, and has more than a decade in mortgage services, all under the umbrella of Merritt Ventures. Merritt holds a life, accident and health insurance license, and a principal associate real estate broker’s license. He has an associate degree in pre-law, a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a certificate in computer information systems. He has personally represented himself and won in court hundreds of times to, in part, clear his record from the ravages of identity theft.
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