While many people have certainly heard of identity theft , most people really don’t understand what it truly is and the risk that it poses. Identity Theft is a crime that is multi-faceted, very easily to commit and very hard to get caught. Worst of all, the private sector has done a poor job at educating the consumer of its risks with its limited products.
If you see many of the commercials about identity theft you would be lead to believe that identity theft is about credit cards. The truth is financial identity theft is only one aspect of the crime. There are 5 areas of identity theft that you have to watch out for. They are…
2. Social Security
3. Character or Criminal
5. Drivers License
The reason why financial is the one you hear the most about is because financial is the only one most private sector companies have a solution for. They don’t care to educate you about the other four areas because they know that if you become a victim, they can’t help you.
If someone purchases an automobile in your name, commits a crime in your name and the police come and arrest you, is Lifelock going to help you get out of jail?
What if someone gets access to your social security number. They get a job in your name. They fill out the maximum amount of deductions so they get very little to no tax withheld. The IRS bill comes in your name. Is Citibank going to help you with that?
Most identity theft companies offer one of two types of solutions. They either offer you a reimbursement policy or they offer you credit monitoring with a resolution department. With a reimbursement policy, you have to spend the money to fix the problem before they pay you. If you don’t have the money to fix the problem, that’s not going to help you.
Credit monitoring is a start and will help you to catch some of the financial areas of identity theft . For instance if someone tries to buy a home in your name and you have credit monitoring, you will be able to catch that and stop that right in its tracks.
However, if someone claims they are you on your medical insurance and they use up all of your coverage, credit monitoring isn’t going to catch that. What are you going to do when you show up to the hospital and find out you have maxed out your benefits for a hospital stay you never had?
As for the resolution department, what they pretty much do is send you a kit in the mail and a 800# you can call for assistance. That number is usually staffed by an overseas help desk. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t trust an overseas help desk to help me get my identity back. Keep in mind YOU have to do all the work yourself. They just send you the packet to help you out.
The TRUTH about identity theft is if you want a REAL solution that will assist you before, during and after the crime, here is what you want to look for…
1. Look for a service that offers credit monitoring. While credit monitoring alone isn’t enough, it is a valuable tool in stopping and preventing many forms of financial identity theft .
2. Look for a service that offers full identity theft restoration. Restoration is NOT you getting a fraud packet in the mail and having to do the work yourself. Restoration is having a licensed investigator assigned to your case, doing most of the legwork and restoration for you and for the little you HAVE to do yourself, walking you through the process.
3. Look for a service that offers access to attorneys. Identity theft also sparks legal issues and you will need access to an attorney if you become a victim. In particular you want a service that offers 24 hour access to attorneys in case you are arrested, questioned or detained by law enforcement officers. Many times being able to have an attorney speak to the officer for you can get you to be able to avoid being arrested to begin with.
While many people have certainly heard of identity theft , most people really don't understand what it truly is and the risk that it poses. Identity Theft is a crime that is multi-faceted, very easily to commit and very hard to get caught. Worst of all, the private sector has...
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