Identity Theft has gotten out of control. The effects can be so devastating.
I have been spending the past month doing tax returns (some of you may know that this is my calling and has been for years) and have already had to file paperwork for clients who have become a victim of Identity Theft with the Internal Revenue Service. Some have been notified by the IRS and others by employers of information released in error.
Trust me it has not been fun. Proving you are who you are takes a lot of work.
This has become a problem of epic proportion. Between the problems occurring because your employer has been hacked or a shopping location or your credit card company or even the IRS itself, yes no one is immune ...
I received this in an email from Marc Demetriou, a mortgage consultant, that really breaks down the different types of Identity Theft and how it can change your life. Thanks Marc.
Ready to have your eyes open?
This is scary!
Think Identity Theft is limited
to someone using your Credit Card?
to someone using your Credit Card?
Take a closer look. . .
Six Types of Identity Theft
1. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES
An identity thief could obtain your driver’s license and accumulate traffic tickets in your name. They could get a DUI with your identity and not show up in court leaving you guilty and liable.
2. SOCIAL SECURITY
An identity thief could use your Social Security Number for employment purposes and you wouldn’t know it until the IRS contacts you for their unpaid taxes. There are 11 million illegal aliens in the US today. They can buy names and SSN’s. A thief can open a credit account or utilities, purchase a home, or start a business with your SSN without your knowledge or approval.
3. MEDICAL INFORMATION BUREAU
This area of ID Theft is growing rapidly as more people are losing or are unable to afford health insurance. An identity thief could use your personal information to obtain prescriptions or medical help which may reduce your available benefits. A thief could get an AIDS test and the results would go on your record. Your blood type could be changed without your knowledge, which could be life threatening in an emergency.
4. CRIMINAL IDENTITY THEFT
An identity thief could use your information to escape fines or jail time. You could find that you have a criminal record for bad checks, shoplifting, pornography or prostitution which could lead to time in jail or wrongful conviction.
5. FINANCIAL IDENTITY THEFT
An identity thief could use your information to obtain money, goods or services leaving you with the bill. They could use your Debit Card and access your bank account, purchase a cell phone or lease a car in your name and not make payments, therefore, ruining your good name and credit.
6. SYNTHETIC IDENTITY THEFT
An identity thief uses a social security number, medical records, motor vehicle records, address, and other non-public information of different people to create a synthetic identity, which in turn can adversely affect all parties being victimized.
“Identity theft is an undesirable situation in which you can become both a victim and a criminal at the same time without even being aware of it.”
I'm not going to tell you that you should have a contract with one of the companies that will "monitor" your credit and alert you to any new activity on your Social Security Number, but they could be one way to protect yourself. I think you should at least once a year, check your credit score and see what is on that record. It won't stop it, but at least you can be aware and hopefully correct any information that is not yours.
I just think we should all be very vigilant in protecting our identities. Once your identity is compromised, it could take YEARS to get things ironed out .. and even then you could still be vulnerable.
See I told you this is scary.
Thanks again Marc, it is becoming a very scary place to "do business" or lead a "normal" life .. we need to stay alert.