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How to Manage Your Bills (Collection) by Liz Weston

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8. Identity Theft

Striking the right balance between caution and paranoia can be tough when it comes to identity theft.

Identity thieves victimized more than 11 million Americans in 2011, according to Javelin Research, which conducts an annual ID theft survey. Much of the theft consisted of credit card fraud, which is relatively easy to overcome—you report the fraud, get a new account number, and move on. More worrisome is new account fraud, in which the bad guys take on your identity and open new accounts in your name. That type of fraud can go on for years and can be a bear to fight.

What’s worse, much of your risk is beyond your control. Your personal identifying information is kept in many huge databases with questionable security. As of ...

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