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Colorado Consumers Beware

According to a report issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Colorado was among the most scammed states in 2009. In its latest annual report, the FTC concludes that Colorado residents ranked high in fraud and identity theft complaints.
Colorado ranked second only to Nevada in fraud and other complaints, with 412.4 complaints per 100,000 population (20,772 complaints), and ninth in identify theft complaints, with 95 complaints per 100,000 population (4,775 victims).
The report’s data are based upon 1.3 million unverified complaints received by the FTC, the Consumer Sentinel Network the Internet Crime Complaint Center, Better Business Bureaus, Canada’s PhoneBusters, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Identity Theft Assistance Center, and the National Fraud Information Center, among others. Fraud complaints were 54%, 21% were identify theft complaints and 25% were other types of complaints.
No less than 40% of the fraud complaints by method of payment involved credit cards. And a whopping 48% involved contact with victims by internet and e-mail. Victims in the 40-59 age group amounted to one-half of all victims.
As the data amply demonstrate, if there is a way to defraud people, it has been done; if not, there are dishonest individuals and companies who are busily thinking of ways to do it. One way of providing yourself with at least some means of protection is to jealously safeguard personal information such as social security number (including your child’s), passwords, middle name (often used as a password), date of birth, address, and telephone number. Always ask why any such information is being requested and refuse to part with if it the explanation doesn’t satisfy you.
You have the right to obtain a free copy of your credit report at least every twelve months at annualcreditreport.com. Be sure to analyze the credit report carefully for accuracy and for unexplained inquiries or transactions. Report discrepancies promptly.

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