Credit Freeze – Yes We’re Talking About it Again.

More than likely, you are a victim of a data security breach also known as identity theft.  Probably more than once, but most notably, as part of the recent Equifax incident that impacts over 143,000,000 individuals.  That is nearly half of the U.S. population that had personal information such as name, date of birth, social security number, and address taken with malicious intentions.

The criminals with all of this personal information are likely selling it to other criminals who will use it to create fraudulent identities in order to set up credit cards and other forms of theft.  Since it is linked to valid identities, it creates a myriad of problems for the real person by destroying their credit file.  After an identity theft, it is up to the innocent victim to spend the countless hours necessary to rebuild their credit and prove that they are responsible citizens.

So what can you do?  First is to set up free credit monitoring through Credit Karma at www.creditkarma.com.  This will allow you to keep a watchful eye on the activity associated with your personal identity.  This does require you to be proactive in watching and react quickly when you see something suspicious.

The second and most effective step is to freeze your credit which prevents anyone from being able to access your credit file without your approval.  This involves writing a letter requesting a freeze and sending it along with proof of ID to the three main credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.  In Illinois, it also requires you send a $10 payment with each letter.  Once your request is processed, each company will send you a letter confirming the freeze which will include a personal identification number “PIN” that you will need to keep in a safe place.

Whenever you need to allow for a lender to access your file, you simply call in to the appropriate credit bureau to request a temporary “thaw” of your file by providing them with the PIN and the timeframe you want it to be lifted.

While this sounds like a lot of trouble, freezing your credit file is the ounce of prevention that will prevent the hours of headaches and heartburn that plague victims of identity theft. To help make this process easier for anyone willing to follow through with the credit freeze, I have provided the letter templates here.  Stay vigilant.

 

Credit Freeze Letters

Beau Ingledue of PGIB is your Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider!

elp_promo_dave_lgPurdum Gray Ingledue Beck is happy to announce that Beau Ingledue of Purdum Gray Ingledue Beck, is now a Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider. Dave Ramsey is a trusted voice in America concerning money and business matters. He is a personal money-management expert, radio personality, and has authored four New York Times best-selling books. Throughout the country, Dave has a network of professionals called Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) that he refers his listeners to for services related to financial management.

One of the requirements to be an ELP is to have the heart of a teacher and to provide the highest level of customer service. Beau Ingledue, agency principal of PGIB that was selected to be an ELP for Western Illinois, has exactly those qualities. With over 20 years of insurance experience, he has demonstrated the heart of a teacher to his clients and members of the local community by presenting on money management topics over the years as well as following those principles in his own life. Ashley Riggins will also assist Dave Ramsey clients at the agency and has been at the agency for four years and completed the Dave Ramsey training as well.

As an independent agency, Purdum Gray Ingledue Beck works for their clients through their access to hundreds of companies and products to suit almost any need. Whether it’s auto insurance, home insurance, health insurance, business insurance, professional liability, life insurance, employee benefits or any of the other many types, we have relationships with strong companies to provide the coverage. PGIB can be contacted at 309.833.1755 or by emailing info@macombinsurance.com.

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Who did you look up-to when you were a child?

January is National Youth Mentoring Month, so it seems appropriate to put a spotlight on a great mentoring organization.

Mentoring can mean different things to different people, but one thing I think we can all agree on, is that a quality mentor can have a positive lifelong impact on the child.  While some children find mentors through teachers, coaches, pastors and other role models, some need help finding the right person.  In our area we are fortunate to have an organization dedicated to this mission.

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) provides a proven structure that matches children with adults that can offer the greatest mentoring benefit. Once matched, they provide ongoing support to be sure that both parties are getting what they expect, if not greater. Beyond this, BBBS keeps the match active by providing engaging activities and supporting everyone involved.

I had personally been a “big brother” for a number of years and found the time together to be as rewarding to me as it was for the child.  I think we both learned from the experience and became better people as a result.  This was done through simple activities rather than formal structure or uncomfortable conversations.  We might go fishing, hiking, play a game, go sledding, or anything else that we agreed on, but he always knew that I could be counted on.

The overwhelmingly positive impact of BBBS is studied and documented.  Children get better grades, have higher self esteem and make better choices when they know someone cares.  This is not to say their parents don’t care, but sometimes it takes a friend to listen keep them accountable in a non parenting way.  So my guess as to why adults do not take the first step towards becoming a mentor involves fear that it takes too much time.  While you are making a commitment, it is generally about three hours per week or less if you check out the “school-based” program which usually involves lunch and possibly recess time.

Want to learn more about the BBBS programs in the McDonough County area, call Pete at 309-837-5437.  Other ways you can help the BBBS succeed is to get involved with their fundraisers such as Bowl for Kids Sake, the Plant Sale, and the one coming up the soonest, Trivia Night on March 4th.

Do something BIG, support mentoring!

Beau Ingledue

Happy Holidays and Business Hours

The owners and staff of Purdum Gray Ingledue Beck wish you a very safe happy holiday season.

Please note our business hours below:

Friday, December 23 – Open Until Noon

Monday, December 26, Closed

Friday, December 30- Open Until Noon

Monday, January 2 – Closed

Please call Beau at 309-333-1292 should you have an urgent matter.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

We would like to take this opportunity to say “Thank You” to all of our clients.  We know you have a number of choices for your insurance coverage, and we appreciate you placing your trust in us.

Please note we will close Wednesday  11/23 at 2:00 pm and reopen with normal business hours on Monday 11/28.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

PGIB Staff

 

Illinois License Plate Renewal’s Go Paperless

Just in case you have not heard, the Secretary of State’s office will no longer be sending out vehicle registration reminders by mail.  This is in an effort to save nearly $450,000 per month in postage costs.  So this means it will be up to you to be mindful of when your current license plates expire.  However, they are offering an email notification option.  To take advantage of this, you will need to go to: https://www.ilsos.gov/greenmail/  while having your registration in hand.

PGIB Observing Dr. Martin Luther King Day

Our office will be closed Monday, January 18th in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Day.  We will reopen with normal hours on Tuesday.  Should you need assistance with a claim or other urgent matter, please call me at 309.333.1292.

One of my favorite quotes for Dr. King; “It’s always the right time to do the right thing.”

Beau Ingledue

 

 

 

 

Just a Few More Days for Healthcare Open Enrollment

If you are still considering making a change to your health plan, you have until January 31st, 2016 to submit your application.  We know healthcare insurance has gotten very complicated with subsidies, network changes, plan types, etc. Call on us to help you and you won’t have to pay any more than if you had gone direct.  Call Ashley, Brad or Dennis at 309-833-1755 to make arrangements for learning more.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The owners and staff of Purdum Gray Ingledue Beck wish you a wonderful holiday season.  Please see below for our holiday hours and emergency contact information.

December 23rd – Close at 3PM

December 24th and 25th – Closed

December 31st and January 1st – Closed

Please call me at 309-333-1292 if you have an urgent matter.

Beau Ingledue

Happy Thanksgiving!

The owners and staff of Purdum Gray Ingledue Beck are grateful for you and all of our clients!  We fully understand that without you placing your trust in us with your insurance there would not be PGIB.  We hope that you have a wonderful and safe holiday with your family and friends.

Please note our holiday hours:

Open until 2PM on Wednesday 11/25

Closed Thursday 11/26 and Friday 11/27

Reopen with normal business hours 11/30.

In the event of an emergency, please contact me on my cell phone at 309-333-1292.

Sincerely,

Beau Ingledue