Identity Theft

Seems like every week we hear about another data breach happening to a government agency or big business. We immediately begin to wonder if our financial information has been compromised. Did you know there are actually 5 different types of identity theft? See the list below for the types and description of how the identity theft is used.

Criminal                 Using stolen IDs as personal identification during an arrest. Wouldn’t that be a shock to find out you have a warrant out for your arrest?

Social Security   Using a victim’s Social Security number to obtain employment or commit tax fraud. Who wants to get a letter from the IRS for not reporting all the income from the jobs they didn’t know they had?

Medical                 Using personal information to make medical insurance claims. That can cause problems if someone is allergic to penicillin but the medical records of the identification thief do not reflect that information.

Financial                Accessing financial information or obtaining credit using someone else’s identification. This is the type of identification theft we normally think happens.

Synthetic              Using multiple victims’ information to create another identity.

Be vigilant and diligent about monitoring your identity! You can request your credit records for the three credit reporting bureaus once each year. Request your records from Experian, four months later do the same with TransUnion and four months later check in with Equifax. But that still leaves a lot of time for an id thief to wreak havoc for you. You may want to look into a credit monitoring service. Make sure the company you use also provides identity restoration services. It is not enough to monitor, you also have to be prepared to restore your identity.