(PRWEB) June 7, 2005
ItÂs no secret: identity theft is a major problem in America. Think youÂre not at risk? Unfortunately, you are.
Â Do you hand your credit card to servers at restaurants?
Â Do you sign your credit cards?
Â Do you keep your Social Security number in your wallet or purse?
Â Do you leave mail at your home or business for the postal carrier to collect?
Â Do you shred unwanted mail with personal information?
Would you know what to do if it happened to you?
Â Call your bank and/or credit card company.
Â Contact the three major credit repositories.
Â Go through the helpful but expensive steps recommended by Federal Trade Commission in its 30-page consumer support publication.
Â Fill out and submit the affidavit form supplied by the FTC to dispute new, unauthorized accounts.
Â Spend countless hours and an average of $1,500 according to the FTC in out-of-pocket expenses in your efforts to resolve the many problems caused by identity thieves.
Margaret Norris-Guerrero, who is the Executive Administrator of the Identity Theft Fraud Protection Agency, asked, Âwhy would someone want to do all of that leg work by themselves when they can have a trained expert do it for them and have peace of mind?Â Norris-Guerrero has been instrumental with providing very effective Identity Theft awareness seminars to companies and organizations nationwide upon request. She is also a National Executive Sales Director with Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (NYSE: PPD) and has enjoyed considerable success marketing the companyÂs product line that includes identity theft restoration.
Norris-Guerrero stated, ÂMy passion for helping the public to become more aware of and combating Identity Theft began as a result of working for 17-1/2 years in the banking industry. In my opinion, the Identity theft restoration product is the most effective methodology in helping protect against this monster called Âidentity theft.Â There are several other types of products on the market; however, I found that dovetailing the shield with the Pre-Paid Legal membership it answers the needs of all of my clients.Â
When asked what the features included, she continued, Âthe Identity theft restoration offers the following features:
Â An up-to-date Credit Report through Experian at no added cost
Â A personal Credit Score calculated by an independent scoring service
Â A detailed analysis of your personal credit score
Â Continuous Credit Monitoring Â suspicious activity will be brought to your attention, providing you with early detection
Â YouÂll receive prompt notice if the credit repository is notified that
o New accounts have been opened in your name
o Derogatory notations have been added to your credit report
o Public records have been added to your report
o Inquiries have been made against your report
o A change of address has been requested
Â Identity Restoration Â Identity Theft can be devastating, and the process of restoring your name can be overwhelming and costly. You need more than Âdo it yourselfÂ information if it happens to you.
o With the identity theft restoration, a trained expert will take the steps to restore your name and credit for you!
o Help reduce your out-of-pocket expenses and time spent away from work with valuable services from detection to resolution.
o Fraud notifications will be sent on your behalf and applicable follow-up will be done with affected agencies and institutions, including: credit card companies, financials institutions, all three credit repositories, Social Security Administration, Federal Trade Commission, Department of Motor Vehicles, law enforcement personnel, and the U.S. Postal Service.
o Proactive searches of applicable local and national databases will be made on your behalf to look for information you may not be aware of, including: criminal activity in your name in your countyÂs records and certain federal watch lists, Department of Motor Vehicle records in your state, unknown addresses affiliated with your name, and banking activity in your name reported as fraudulent.
ÂI feel that the partnership with the Identity Theft Fraud Protection Agency, Pre-Paid Legal Services with their legal service plan and the identity theft restoration is another way of my assisting the community with a service and product that is desperately needed in giving families the peace of mind that they need with respect to identity theft and legal protection. Add to it the roll-out of The Fair and Accurate Transactions Act, the law that requires the destruction Â 'shredding or burning' or 'smashing or wiping' Â of all paper or computer disks containing personal information "derived from a consumer report" before it is discarded. Every company in America needs to protect themselves with respect to ensuring they are in compliance with FACTA, HIPAA and Gramm Leach Bliley. We all aim at protecting the consumer and company privacy, including medical records, credit information and corporate trade secrets."
"How would you respond if you were a single mom and not once but twice law enforcement officers knocked at your front door of your home with a warrant for your arrest for check fraud, a crime that you didn't commit? You are handcuffed in front of your children who are four and six years of age, the children are taken into custody by Child Protective Services. You are arrested now for a crime you have no knowledge of, you have no money for an attorney, you don't who to call or what to do and the law enforcement officers do not believe you. How do you deal with the emotional trauma that your children have gone through when it is all said and done and you are found innocent? How do you explain to them it was all just a mistake and it won't happen again? And then, the dreaded sound of the police knocking on the door 'we have a warrant for your arrest.' The trauma and emotional turmoil that this mother and her children have gone through is totally unacceptable and should not be tolerated. From my experience, if she had had both of the Pre-Paid Legal identity theft restoration and legal products she would have had access to an attorney immediately to protect her, her good name and given her peace of mind that it would not happen again.
Norris-Guerrero is no stranger to philanthropy and helping people; she is currently a member of TEC (The Executive Committee, an international organization of CEOÂs), a member of the Houston Area Restaurant Vendors Association (HARVA) where she helps restaurants and retail establishments find reputable vendor services. She is on the Crime Prevention Committee and an Ambassador for the Houston Cy-Fair Chamber of Commerce, a co-chair for the silent auction/razzle dazzle for the 2005 Cy-Fair ISD Salute to the Stars Gala. She is also assisting with fundraising for the Houston Metropolitan Dance Center, an arts and educational organization in Houston dedicated to the arts and development of contemporary dance that strives to be one of HoustonÂs leaders in dance education, training and performance.
Norris-Guerrero also has served on the Board of Theatre under the Stars and Texas Special Olympics. She has fed more than 800 law enforcement officers for the Texas Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run; chaired the Make-A-Wish Gala honoring Gene Rodenberry upon the release of the last Star Trek film and worked for The Brown Foundation.
About Pre-Paid Legal Services:
We believe our products are one-of-a kind, life events legal service plans. We are the only company that offers a security suite of products that offer help in all five areas of identity theft, both before, during and after the event. Our plans provide for legal service benefits provided through a network of more than 50 independent law firms across the U.S. and Canada, and include unlimited attorney consultation, will preparation (including their medical directive and living will, living traffic violation defense, automobile-related criminal charges defense, letter writing, document preparation and review and a general trial defense benefit. The identity theft restoration product we think is also one of a kind.
If it happens to you, do you think your bank and credit card company will clean up the mess for you? Think again. Instead, think of your already overbooked calendar. As a single parent, who will attend the dance, cheerleading or gymnastic classes for you? How will you ask for time off from work? What will your boss say? How will it affect your job or worse yet your job performance? Do you have leisure time to spare? Or worse yet, how will you handle the stress, and someone has phished your money out of your account because you responded to an e-mail that you received from your bank asking for personal information? The identity theft epidemic could cause a single parent or anyone for that matter to be away from work for unspecified amount of time.
The cost of absenteeism for an employer for an employee out five days based on an average annual income of $28,800 is about $600 per year. If your company has 100 employees that number grows to $60,300 per year. What if you had 500 employees, you are looking at $301,500. How about say a school district with 5,000 employees now you are up to $3,015,000. With school funding already being stretched to the limit and no answer from the Texas legislature, where do the schools come up with making up this difference? Why should the school districts be further burdened?
Bottom line, can your company afford hundreds of thousands of hours by not one employee but ten or maybe even a hundred or several thousand employees because a classified computer was stolen and your employees are all trying to repair the damage that has occurred? Or can you afford the long distance calls that may be made on your phone? Or perhaps the employees are discussing their problems with co-workers and their 15 minute breaks or one hour lunches run over by five or 10 or 15 minutes. Multiply that by two or three or five or 10 employees all offering their own personal experiences.
For more information on scheduling an identity theft awareness seminar with the Identity Theft Fraud Protection Agency or more information about the family plan or group employee benefit plan of the Pre-Paid Legal ServicesÂ identity theft restoration or legal plan services, contact Margaret Norris-Guerrero can be reached by calling (832) 492-1729 or (800) 853-0230, or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the Pre-Paid Legal website: http://www.prepaidlegal.com/hub/m_guerrero.