If you follow the news, you have probably heard several stories about people getting victimized by identity thieves. These criminals steal personal information they can use to scam individuals, businesses, and even the government. Sadly, this kind of thief can not only rob you; they can also hurt your credit score and reputation. Also, you could need to make a substantial effort to recover. You should learn more about identity theft and the steps you can take to protect yourself to reduce your risks.
What Do Identity Thieves Do?
Identity theft can take different forms, and that might be one reason that it’s difficult to prevent. People have been victimized by dozens of different kinds of identity theft in recent years. For instance, people commonly associate ID theft with stolen credit card numbers. The thief will use credit card information to make purchases, leaving the original owner of the card with the debt.
Sadly, people who don’t check their credit cards often may not even know somebody has been using their credit to make purchases until they check their statement. By that time, the thief could have run up a large debt.
These other kinds of identity theft are also common:
- ID theft: Criminals may use their victim’s driver’s license or social security card to secure fake ID cards.
- Mail theft: ID thieves might steal credit card offers out of mailboxes, change the address, and open new accounts to use.
- Social security number theft: In this case, the criminals may use your social security number to commit tax fraud by having income to them reported as belonging to you.
- Insurance card theft: Criminals could use your insurance information to get medical services, and in some cases, they may also hope to stick you with the bill for deductibles and copays.
- Phone scams: In this case, thieves tend to prey upon older people by pretending to be somebody else in order to steal information or money.
To protect yourself, you should always make prudent decisions about whom to trust with your financial and personal information. You might also decide to enroll in credit monitoring systems that will alert you when anybody tries to use your personal information. These days, many banks and credit card companies offer credit monitoring as a free service.
How Can Identity Theft Insurance Help?
Sadly, there’s no way to offer a 100-percent guarantee that your own personal information will stay out of the wrong hands. You’ve probably heard about high-profile cases of identity theft from credit bureaus, large companies, and even the government. Even if you can keep your personal data safe, you can never be sure that all the other organizations that hold your information will do their job. Also, even if you monitor your credit, you may only find out that you’ve become a victim after the thieves have done substantial damage.
For peace of mind, you might consider identity theft insurance. For several dollars a year, you can be certain that you will have help with any expenses that you may incur after you’ve been victimized. Typically, this kind of insurance won’t repay you for stolen money. On the other hand, it will usually provide you with assistance and may compensate you for the money and time it takes you to recover your good standing and reduce or eliminate fraudulent debt. You can buy standalone ID theft insurance and in some cases, include it with your homeowner’s insurance.
Find Out More About Protecting Yourself and Your Family
Here at Philleo Agency Insurance, we’re in the business of protecting our clients and community. Contact us today with your questions about identity theft insurance and other kinds of protection you may need. As your insurance advocate, we will help you find the best coverage at the right price and help represent you if you ever need to make a claim.