1. Secure your trash.
Always tear up checks, bills or letters with any personal information about yourself, and cut old credit cards with scissors. But do not just tear or cut anything in half -chop everything into little pieces. And don’t put all the pieces in the same container.
Do this regardless of whether or not you recycle. If you are getting rid of an old electronic device, always empty out all information. There may be a utility program that will clean the hard drive of your old computer.
2. Secure your social security number.
Check out any online, telephone or snail-mail source that asks for this number. Valid sources often only ask for your last four digits. Find out why someone wants this information, how it will be kept safe, and what will happen if you do not provide it. Keep all documentation of this number under lock and key. Do not carry your social security card in your wallet, as it may get stolen.
If you don’t have a locked mailbox, consider getting a PO box for business transactions that require your social security number. Keep all documentation of this number under lock and key. Do not carry your social security card in your wallet, as it may get stolen.
3. Don’t tell your life story online.
Even seemingly innocuous information like the names of your children or pets can be important proof-of-identity questions at business-oriented websites. Do not post the name of your workplace, your phone number or your home address.
4. Be as secretive as possible.
Use locks and encryptions whenever possible. Require a login and password on your e-devices if the option exists. Change your passwords often; write them down and keep them in a locked drawer. Don’t pick obvious passwords such as your birthday, address, or name of a child or pet.
5. Take identity theft seriously.
Don’t be like me and assume it will never happen to you.
It can happen to anybody.
JP Bloch, PhD Criminologist has taken his own personal experience and turned it into a fascinating and riveting psychological thriller - Identity Thief.
Today I was re-introduced to this terrific website - PhotoFunia - where you can create great snapshots of what may never exist.
I get a little carried away, but it's so much fun to do, it's hard to stop.
Bear with me.
You can now pick up a copy of Identity Thief by JP Bloch in paperback or ebook.
We're delighted that early reviews tell us readers are enjoying it as much as we hoped they would.
"JP Bloch’s Identity Thief is a smooth, intelligent novel. The author’s accessible writing makes for a fast read, but the book’s easy technique defies its complex (and hilarious) insight into human needs and desires. The author’s snarky tone lightens the dark scenarios conjured by such needs and desires, and provides a brilliant contrast between humor and gravity that will captivate the audience.
Unlike a book where readers suffer through tedious chapters hoping that the story will accelerate, Bloch’s novel is an engrossing rollercoaster ride from the first moment. The story begins with a terrifying, bloody jolt, and it doesn’t stop twirling and dipping until the surprising conclusion. Hot sex punctuates the high action scenes and tortuous story line.
You will love to hate the characters, who are at once dark, savage criminals; yet perfectly ordinary people to whom readers readily relate. I give this book an enthusiastic five stars. If you like romance, fiction, mystery, horror, drama or action, Identity Thief is the book for you. JP Bloch spans genres with great skill, and will hold you prisoner until the last word." Frances
Now out, Identity Thief. The fast-paced psychological thriller from JP Bloch.
Why we like this book.
Why you’ll like this book.
It’s not for everyone. But if you like edgy, fast-paced, psychological thrillers with interesting characters and great storytelling, then this one’s for you.
Pick up a copy today. We’re eager to hear what you think.*
*Yes, there's nudity, profanity, sex, and all kinds of shenanigans. But not enough to scare you off.
Cover by Al Pranke, amp13
Sociology and writing fiction are not that different from one another, if you ask Jon Bloch. The sociology professor’s novel The Identity Thief comes out this month, and he says the novel’s theme of self-identity also interests him as a scholar. “Sociologists believe that the self is socially constructed,” Bloch says. “It’s difficult to say if there is a true self or not.” As for the familiar question of whether nature or nurture creates the self? “We focus more on the nurture,” says Bloch.
The novel, in which an identity thief creates a new life as his victim’s world falls apart, is already receiving critical acclaim: author Paul D. Marks called it “an audacious and cleverly plotted, intriguing mystery that opens up new layers of deceit at every turn.” Its tag line, taken from the narrator, is “the biggest mistake you can make is thinking you know who you are.” Bloch says as a sociologist he is interested in “how we see ourselves versus how other people see us. Someone who might think she or he is very clever may be considered not so clever by others.”
Although this is not his first novel, Bloch views The Identity Thief as his first really serious one and says it can be considered part literary fiction and part popular fiction. He had originally wanted to be a fiction writer, “saw it wasn’t practical, so got into sociology and thought I wouldn’t try to write fiction anymore.” Yet he found himself drawn back to writing fiction and says he likes to think outside the box and combine genres. He describes his book as “a kind of a film noir literary thriller.”
In the novel, the thief and the victim take turns narrating the story, chapter by chapter, and Bloch says that ironically, the thief is the more sympathetic of the two: he is out of work and desperate for money. The victim, Bloch says, is something of a sociopath, but still feels like he’s been robbed, not only of his money but also of something essential to himself.
In today’s world, Bloch says, “things like your zip code or Social Security number can affect how you’re treated by the world. So when someone has access to those kinds of basic information about you, it raises the question of not only who are you but also who is the identity thief.” Bloch himself has been a victim of identity theft.
In his classes, Bloch says, he likes to get his students thinking about the construction of identity and asks them questions such as, “Are there things that steal our identities all the time? Do we have things that steal our identities – for instance, are you happy in your job or do you feel that it robs you of something? Do the people we know add to us or take away from us?”
As a sociologist, Bloch says, he also encourages students to think about how much their lives have to do with their position in society and how others see them. “What if I went to a different college? What if I had a different job? Making choices causes life to go in different directions.”
The novel, which is being published by Bacon Press Books, will be available in both a Kindle edition as well as hard copy.
You can read the article at Southern Connecticut State University News from SCSU
If you're into Goodreads Giveaways, now is a great chance to win a copy of The Clear Blue Line by Al Sprague. Just sign up here.
And check out this 5 Star review
Exceptional and Exhilarating
By John J. Staughton on September 6, 2014
"I was immediately transported to another world by this author, one that I am not familiar with, yet it was exciting and profoundly addicting. The high-energy 1970s, drugs, boats, women, booze, great fashion, and adventure to be had....what a picture Sprague paints even in the first few pages, a world that we can now only understand through this medium of storytelling. Not only was the writing rich and intoxicating to experience, but the plot was epic and engaging, and considering my investment in the characters and environment almost immediately, there was no way to avoid falling into the depths of this book. It seemed like a modern fairy tale, an unbelievable adventure for normal (and extraordinary) people who were looking for some fun. What the readers got instead was a fast-paced ride through more narrow escapes and harrowing, page flipping tension than one man can handle! I liked that despite the apparent peaceful nature of the cover of this book, the material inside is anything but, so put on your seat belt, grab your scuba gear, and spend a few afternoons losing yourself in Sprague's book - you won't regret it."
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