Our friend Denise Richardson, of givembackmycredit.com, has posted a helpful article where she gives eight reasons why you should take identity theft seriously. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the country, according to FBI statistics. While it hopefully will never happen to you, the possibility is still there and you should take precautions and know what to do after it happens.
Here are eight reasons why you should take identity theft seriously:
1. It’s not just about credit.
Unlike commercials would have you believe, having your credit card number stolen in an identity theft ordeal is really just the least that can happen. Your medical records, tax returns, and/or Social Security number could be stolen as well. The information someone could get about you is endless.
2. Criminals always have the newest technology.
Phishing, smishing, vishing, skimming, spoofing, click-jacking, tab-napping, pharming–whatever you call it, it’s bad news when it happens to you. We all need snooping / scanning / sniffing technology that is just as good if not better. Services that can now utilize up-to-the-minute technology to detect suspicious activity before the damage occurs, can go a long way in reducing the risk and impact of fraud.
3. Identity theft affects your finances.
An identity theft can cause you to have to pay higher insurance premiums, have errors on your credit report, and even prevent you from getting a house or apartment…all because your credit wasn’t cleaned up correctly and fast enough. It can take months or years, and be quite expensive, of battling with credit bureaus to ammend your credit score.
4. Protecting against and cleaning up after identity theft takes knowledge and time.
Most people don’t have the time or know-how to scour underground websites to make sure their personal information isn’t being sold. It’s impossible to immediately tell if someone fills out a credit card application using your name and giving your information, but websites like Lifelock.com can.
Lifelock was recently voted 8th overall and #1 in security in INC Magazine’s top-growing 500 companies. An additional plus: they actually keep their jobs in this country.
5. Social Networking is everywhere.
The popularity of online social media sites has exploded, and while it’s fun to update your friends and family about your life, it’s also an opportunity for your personal information to land in the hands of thieves. With the rise of social media popularity, cyber crimes have also risen. Protecting your data is very important.
6. The best defense is a good offense.
You can’t always avoid being a victim of a crime, fire or a storm, and you can’t stop a determined identity thief either. But you can take steps to lessen the impact an identity theft can have on your life–and you can take those steps BEFORE anything happens to you. Knowledge is power.
7. Time is money.
It’s true that you can save money by not having insurance, but when something happens you will definitely be paying the much higher price for being unprepared. Your interest rates could go up and, if you have insurance, your premiums could go up . It’s important to have a decent amount of money in your savings account that way you can have money to live off of while the banks figure out what back funds they have to pay if your checking account is cleaned out by an identity thief.
8. Statistics It’s currently more likely that you’ll have identity theft issues than your car will be stolen. But this doesn’t mean that you would cancel that part of your car insurance, does it? Since identity theft is the fastest growing crime, it’s important that you take every precaution you can and know how to protect yourself!
If you have had problems with identity theft and have questions or concerns, feel free to contact us through our website or by calling 205-879-2447.
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