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Identity theft and your wallet

Feb. 5, 2011 at midnight
Updated Feb. 4, 2011 at 8:05 p.m.


By Alan Bligh

As you know, identity theft can cause you all sorts of trouble. For example, just imagine losing your wallet. Think of all those cards containing your personal information. Our suggestion is that you carry only items in your wallet that you must have. Think what can happen: What if the bad guys, for example, get your library card and check out several books and never return them. The library is going to hold you responsible. So if you do not plan on going to the library, leave that library card at home. More importantly, do not carry your Social Security card if possible. I know many folks have to have that card with them, but it is no longer necessary as long as you know the number. Once you have removed all unnecessary items from your wallet, find a copier and make a copy of what you do carry, both front and back. Hide the list away, then if you lose your wallet or it is stolen, you will have list and be able to contact your card companies and others.

Have you heard of BBB Auto Line? It's a national program designed to settle complaints concerning vehicles that are covered by factory warranty. It's a great program for consumers. If a consumer cannot resolve a warranty issue through their dealer, they may file an Auto Line complaint by going to our site at www.bbb.org. In most cases, BBB will then schedule an Arbitration hearing. This is really a good deal for consumers for these reasons:

It's free.

It's fast - our guidelines set a time frame of 30 days from the filing of the complaint to conclusion and we usually resolve cases in a much shorter time.

Auto Line arbitration is NOT binding on the consumer, it is binding only on the manufacturer. Don't like the decision - you still can go to court.

Consumers win more often going through Auto Line than they do when going to court. This is according to the Federal Trade Commission.

For details, give us a call or find instructions in your automobile's warranty manual.

Millions of Ticketmaster customers should be receiving a cash payment or discounts now that it has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit over allegedly deceptive online service and delivery fees. The class action covers all online Ticketmaster purchases made by U.S. residents between October 1999 and May 2010. The suit challenged Ticketmaster's "Order Processing Fee" and the fee it charged customers who opted for UPS delivery on its website, costs that often amounted to more than $20. A second claim involves Ticketmaster customers who paid for UPS Delivery of their tickets. The suit alleged that its charges for UPS shipping is deceptive because Ticketmaster "substantially marks-up the amount it actually pays to UPS."

Alan Bligh is the executive director of the Better Business Bureau in Corpus Christi. Contact him by e-mail at abligh@corpuschristi .bbb.org.

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