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Consumer Updates

San Antonio ranks 86th in the nation for reported cases of ID theft, Texas ranks 5th

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Better Business Bureau
April 20, 2012 | 2,457 views | 1 comment

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- In the latest Consumer Sentinel Network report issued by the Federal Trade Commission, Texas ranks fifth in the nation for the most reported cases of identity theft per 100,000 residents, and out of 384 cities nationwide, San Antonio ranks 86th. There were more than 24,000 reported cases of identity theft in Texas and more than 2,000 complaints filed in San Antonio.

In Texas, government documents/benefits fraud was the most common form of reported identity theft at 24 percent, followed by employment-related fraud (15 percent), phone or utilities fraud (13 percent), credit card fraud (12 percent), bank fraud (10 percent) and loan fraud (4 percent).

Those aged 20 -- 29 remain the most heavily targeted group, making up 23 percent of the total number of victims reporting their age in CSN.

To avoid falling victim to identity theft, BBB recommends consumers shred all sensitive documents, never carry their social security card, never give out personal information over the phone or to unknown people and avoid suspicious links.

BBB also advises consumers have a document retention schedule. BBB offers the following suggestions:

· Insurance documentation: Keep everything as long as you have the policy. Also save any paperwork regarding unresolved claims/coverage.

· Keep utility, cell phone and similar bills only until you receive confirmation that your payment has been processed. The only exception to this is if you are self-employed. Self-employed people should keep these records longer so they can prove any deductions on their tax forms.

· Loan documentation: Keep all paperwork until you pay off the loan. Then, you can shred everything except the document that proves you paid in full.

· Monthly bank statements: Find out how much time your bank and/or credit cards give you to challenge incorrect statements. Keep them until you are no longer able to challenge them. This is typically between 60 days to one year after the mistake is made.

· Keep one year:

- Paycheck stubs: Don't throw away your paycheck stubs until you receive your annual W-2 form from your employer. If everything matches, feel free to shred your pay stubs. Then, keep your W-2 forms for at least a few years.

· Keep three years:

- Bank statements
- Expired insurance policies

· Keep seven years:

- Tax returns, canceled checks/receipts, records for tax deductions taken. The IRS has six years to challenge your return if it thinks that you underreported your gross income by 25 percent or more.

· Keep forever:

- All paperwork related to bankruptcy, inheritance and wills.
- Auditor's reports.
- House/Condominium records: It is a good idea to keep documents of expenditures related to house/condominium improvements. Capital purchases that improve or enhance the value of your home when you sell your property may lower your capital gains tax.
- IRA contribution records: If you made a nondeductible contribution to an IRA plan, such as a Roth IRA, keep your records to show that you were already taxed for this money.
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Your Opinions and Comments

April 27, 2012 12:26pm
texas's ranking of 5th cant possibly have anything to do with our friendly southern neighbors coming here "to do the jobs we won't do" now would it.......

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