Public Enemy Number 1 is Identity Theft

By Craig Freeman, national identity theft consultant and trainer

There are 6 Types of Identity Theft

Have you ever asked yourself: “Why is identity theft such an out-of-control issue today?” The reason is the anonymity and the many faucets of identity theft.  Americans are not aware of the six types of identity theft.  Most people tend to focus on financial identity theft. This limited focus has lured society into feeling a false sense of security. People believe that “it will never happen to me, because I don’t have any money in the bank or have anything of value”. It’s very important that we educate ourselves, our loves ones, seniors and business owners about the devastating impact of identity theft.  Financial identity theft is generally defined as the unauthorized successful use or attempted use of someone’s credit card or personal information.

The five other types of identity theft are:

  • Driver’s License
  • Tax
  • Employment
  • Medical ID Theft
  • Character

Criminal ID Theft (this  includes stealing children’s social security numbers) cannot be detected through credit monitoring, which makes tracking this type of identity theft challenging, unpredictable and impossible to prevent.

Cyber thieves have learned how lucrative it is to hack into a database and then sell the information over the Dark Web.  Extracted personal information, from social security numbers to medical identification numbers, can sell for $10 up to $100. This information allows thieves to create a synthetic person to commit fraud in the name of an unsuspecting victim.

Be Proactive to Protect Yourself

Identity theft results from both friendly frauds (someone you know steals your personal info) to cyber breaches.  According to an October 2016 article in USA Today, this crime has been reported as being in the Top 10 Fears of Americans (#8 on the list). This is understandable, as statistics reveal that only 1 in 700 identity thieves are ever caught and prosecuted.  Cyber specialists advise that everyone should take this crime seriously, as it will continue to grow and unfortunately turn lives upside down in lost hours, cost and anxiety. According to Javelin Strategy & Research, an estimated 15.4 million consumers were hit with some kind of ID theft last year, up from 13.1 million in 2015.

The solution to protecting yourself and your love ones, while fighting back against this crime, is to seek an advocacy protection plan that can detect and restore, combined with legal advice to address the full impact of identity theft.

There are a number of identity theft plans being marketed today, so be sure to vet these plans thoroughly to avoid selecting a counterfeit plan.  Four key characteristics of highly effective plans are:

  • Seek a company that has longevity in the industry and covers all 5 types of identity theft.
  • Identify a company that has licensed private investigators on staff.
  • The company should offer a Limited Power of Attorney to represent you when a breach occurs.
  • Confirm that they have a $5 million dollar guarantee.
  • Seek a plan that can be bundled with a legal plan.

Contact SACS About Our Identity Theft Workshop

Don’t leave your identity/financial security to chance. Learn more on how to protect yourself, your loved ones and your employees.  For information on our no cost Identity Theft workshop offered by SACS Consulting, contact us at 330-255-1101.