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When people here the words “Identity Theft”, the most common immediate thought is “credit card fraud” or someone accessing a bank account.
Did you know there are five types of ID Theft?
Financial is the easiest to detect, and correct.
The other four, however, can be disastrous to you, your family, or your business.
ID Theft – Driver’s License
If your driver’s license information is used to create a duplicate, it can be used by a thief to impersonate you, making you liable for their actions. Your license is a potential gateway for someone to steal other forms of your identity as well; a driver’s license is the closest thing we have to a “national identification card”, and its misuse can cause you serious problems.
ID Theft – Social Security Number
Everyone has given their SSN to someone; your employer, the medical clinic you go to, the bank where you keep your money, the loan officer or real estate agent that helped you buy or sell a house, your financial planner, your accountant or financial planner, even the landlord from whom you rented your apartment so that he could run a credit or background check.
ID Theft – Medical Information
The one that most people are least likely to guess, and the one that has the most potential harm. Aside from being responsible for the bills that someone else racks up in your name (using your Social Security Number, or your Driver’s License), most people are not aware that there is a National Medical Information Database. Take a look at this article, and pay close attention to paragraph three.
Character / Criminal
A potential nightmare just waiting to happen – being arrested because of a mistaken identity. It happens more often than one might think, and trying to fix the problem means hundreds of hours of time and thousands of dollars of lost work time, legal fees, and perhaps even a lost job.
ID Theft – Financial
The most well know of the five types of the Identity Theft, financial ID Theft is the easiest to prevent, and the easiest from which to recover. However, the liability of the individual victim is only limited if action is taken in a timely manner. Delayed action can result in the victim being responsible for a larger portion of the monetary damage. Delay too long, and you are on the hook for all of it.
DETER – DETECT – DEFEND
There are ways to protect yourself, not only from financial ID Theft, but the others as well. More will come on these and other related topics in future posts.
Have you heard of FACTA? It stands for the "Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act" and was enacted by Congress several years ago to help protect individuals from the number one growing crime in America … Identity Theft!