WHAT IS IDENTITY THEFT?

Identity theft occurs when someone takes all or part of your personally identifiable information to commit a fraudulent act. This may include opening an account in your name, driving with your driver’s license, using your social security number to obtain a job, using your email address in order to change a password on one of your accounts.

WHY SHOULD I CARE? MY CREDIT STINKS ANYWAY!

Identity theft is much more than just credit! For instance, someone gets a job using your information. They don’t withhold enough in taxes or they use your 4-year-old’s social security number. You file your tax return and IRS says you still owe money for that job they think you or your child has. Or, someone could steal your driver’s license information. They get a speeding ticket and do not show up for court. An arrest warrant goes out for you. You, then are driving along someday and are stopped for a minor offense. When the police officer runs your license, he finds out that you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest. They may open up a telephone or utility account in your name. All is good – until they decide not to pay it. Then the creditors are coming after you!

CAN THIS BE STOPPED?

It is unrealistic to believe we can actually stop identity theft from occurring. Protecting our devices is a good start, but others have your information as well. You have no control over their systems. You can freeze your credit so no one opens a new account, but that does not prevent them from using your driver’s license, your medical information, or your email addresses.

SO WHAT CAN BE DONE?

You can be proactive by guarding your devices and monitoring all forms of your identity. You can also work with licensed investigators in the event you are compromised in order to bring your identity back to its original form. If you’d like more information on your options, please feel free to contact me!