Identity Theft and Fraud

Jack Prot

Consumer risk continues to escalate and thieves seeking to commit identity theft and various forms of fraud invent new ways to scam us, especially with the growing trends of emerging technology.

It’s ironic that those things that simplify our lives place us at risk. The more agencies seek to control identity theft and find new ways to protect us, the more of a challenge it becomes to individuals looking for quick scams. While there are ways for every individual to lessen the damage, there is virtually no way to scam-proof our lives and eliminate any and all risk. And who really has the time to watch all points of access to ensure safety of your good name?

There are so many ways we succumb to theft and we’re completely caught off guard and surprised at the holes we’ve left open. More recently thieves have sought out new identities in order to secure prescription drugs get access to visas and avoid criminal prosecutions. Everyday someone seeks to use someone else’s identity yet instead of it becoming a serious proactive endeavor we usually wait until it “somehow happens to us.”

Consumers will gladly pay to insure their homes, insure their vehicles and obviously their lives but altogether disregard the seriousness of a good name and credit record. Are you aware of the damage a thief can create?

Suppose someone steals your social security number; they now have access to tons of personal data like health, financial and perhaps even employment. At first glance that may not seem like it could be that damaging but just imagine someone becoming an imposter and using your identity for health, financial or employment reasons.

• A pre-existing condition that the imposter acknowledges could put your health insurance in denial of benefits for you
• Applying for and running up a slew of new credit cards could ruin you financially – at least until you’re able to clean up the damage
• Applying for new employment and committing other types of fraud at the new job would definitely put you at risk, especially if any criminal acts are involved.

Just as we noted before, it’s difficult for an individual to cover all points of access to ensure you’re completely protected. The best action today is to invest in insurance for your identity.

Investing in insurance for identity theft and fraud is a necessity these days. It doesn’t matter if you rarely use the internet and you shred your personal paperwork at home; would be thieves are everywhere and just when we believe we’re out of harm’s way, we learn of a new entity that poses a threat.
There are a few motor vehicle agencies (MVA) that have found employees indulging in criminal activity; these are people that have access to your driving record, which includes personal information.

There are a few retailers whose employees have stolen and sold personal information to black market internet thieves.

And I know you’ve heard of unfortunate situations where hackers have broken into databases and downloaded data containing thousands of names, social security numbers and birthdates.

How would you know if this happened to you? Do all retailers contact us when their data is compromised? Would you know if someone opened an account in your name?

The arguments for protection against identity theft and fraud become stronger each month as thieves become smarter and faster every day. Investing in an insurance plan for your name and personal data is becoming another one of life’s little prerequisites to living comfortably.

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