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ID theft

All about how it happens and how you can keep it from happening to you.

Check out online loan companies thoroughly before you sign

Want to put a big, fat target on your back for identity theft? Dumb question, huh? No one wants to be victimized by an identity thief. But if you've applied for a bad credit loan, you may become just that – a target.

Some of the online bad credit loan companies use or sell your personal information. In fact, there are many bogus sites that offer loans, but that are really in the business of scamming consumers. Hundreds of people, already dealing with bad credit, are now being bugged by debt collectors for debts they don't owe – debts racked up by identity thieves who got their victims' information after the information was compromised following the application for an online loan.

These thieves know exactly what they are doing. They prey on those desperate for help, and promise loans to those who have been turned down everywhere else. But many of these sites do nothing more than sell your information, which can then be sold online to those wishing to commit crimes.

But bear in mind: Not all online loan sites are scams. There are those that legitimately offer loans to those with bad credit, and these sites have made sure their sites are secured. When you're looking for a bad credit loan, be sure you thoroughly check out the site and the company behind it before you provide any personal information. 

You'll also want to find out if there are any complaints against the company. You can type in the company name and the word "complaints" to see what pops up. Lots of complaints is a red flag, telling you that you should move on. 

Remember, don't pay money up front for a loan. Do your homework before you sign on the dotted line, and know what you're getting into.

Published Oct 25 2011, 11:45 AM by IdentityTheft
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