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Say Cheese
Stealing your identity isn't hard, but stealing your face is. Take advantage, therefore, of an option offered by certain credit card companies and retail stores that sponsor their own plastic: Your photo can be affixed to your credit card.

Avoid Casual Clues
You welcome trouble into your life when you use your birth date or your mother's maiden name as your clue password or PIN for bank and credit card accounts. Savvy identity thieves are adept at obtaining this information. They simply ferret out birth certificates and other public records online, then use the significant dates they find there to guess passwords until they succeed in cracking your account.

How to Protect Yourself
If a company asks for your maiden name or your mother's maiden name, reply that you want to use an alternative password to that. Alternatively, fabricate a maiden name or pick a bogus birthday—one that you can easily remember, of course.

Get more tips of Sid's tips on how to protect your credit.
FROM: What the New Scam Artists Don't Want You to Know
Published on April 13, 2007
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.

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