Identity Theft


What is Identity Theft?

There are 3 common types of Identity Theft! 

1. Financial Identity Theft

This involves the use of personal information to take over financial accounts, open credit cards in your name, even take out large loans and mortgages.

If you notice suspicious activity on a credit card or bank statement

  • Contact all financial institutions where you hold accounts and place a 90-day fraud alert on your credit reports by contacting all three credit reporting agencies individually (see resources at end of article). This prevents identity thieves from opening new accounts in your name, as most lenders need to review your credit report before approving an account.

Protect your Social Security number

  • This is one of the most important steps you can take to safeguard your financial holdings — from bank to credit card accounts.
  • Many are not aware that a Social Security number can also be used to gain access to your tax records — and refunds. Filing your tax return early can lessen the chances of someone else accessing your refund, as duplicative returns will raise red flags with the IRS.

2. Medical identity theft

Did you know that your health insurance information can be used by someone else to see a doctor, get prescription drugs or file claims to your insurance provider?

How you can protect yourself against medical identity theft

  • Be sure to read all medical and insurance statements carefully, and if something looks unfamiliar to you, call your health insurance customer service number to cross-reference your information with theirs.
  • If it appears someone used your information, alert your medical providers immediately. Be prepared to gather supporting documentation to send to all parties involved.
  • Finally, follow up with both insurance and medical providers to make sure all errors have been amended.

3. Online identity theft

A sharp increase in social media use means greater opportunities than ever before to steal identities or perpetuate fraud online.

Tips to help you protect yourself when using social media

  • It may seem harmless to post on your profile that you'll be out of town or that you bought a new car. But in the age of oversharing, seemingly innocent information can be dangerous if it gets into the wrong hands.
  • When it comes to stalking or stealing an identity, the use of photo- and video-sharing sites provides deeper insights into you and those you care about your house and places you like to frequent.
  • Each time you make a social media status update, think about whether it could be used to compromise your privacy or security in any way.
  • Be selective when accepting network invites, and remember that it's not "unfriendly" to decline to add someone you don't know — it's common sense.

If you are a victim of Identity Theft, it can take hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to repair the damage.  An Identity Theft Protection Plan does the work for you and will restore your credit and make you whole.

For more information, click on the link or contact me. I’m happy to go over your options with you, and there is absolutely no obligation.