Security breaches have been all over the news lately, and you know what that is really kind of scary. Having a financial background, I normally don’t sweat things like identity theft because I know how to protect my information, but even this has me sweating a little bit. It’s so important to protect your identity so it doesn’t catch you off guard.
I got caught off guard after the Target security breach. Living in the land of Target I had used my Paypal card at my local store during the breach. As a preventative measure, Paypal had cancelled my card and reissued a new one. Sadly, they did it while I was traveling to Detroit, which meant I was left unaware with no active card. YIKES! It’s a great idea to get a new debit card if your identity is compromised, but it was just bad timing.
That’s why it’s so important for you guys to be on top of things when it comes to your identity. In my 10 years as a loan officer, I got to see not only the financial but the emotional toll it can take on you when your identity is stolen. That’s why I am so passionate about services that LifeLock offer to their customers. To give you a reality check out these 5 things you don’t know (but need to know) about identity theft.
5 Things You Don’t Know (But Need to Know) About Identity Theft
- You can be falsely arrested: Did you know there have been cases of identity theft going so far that people have been falsely arrested? Scary right?! It’s not just about stealing your credit report. Don’t believe me? Check out this woman’s story in Oregon.
- If you don’t file a police report, you can be liable for debt incurred: Most people don’t know this, but most creditors require a police report in order to not hold you liable for the debt identity thieves put in your name. If your identity has been stolen, ALWAYS file a police report, ALWAYS.
- Creditors have a right to call you almost all the time: If you don’t file a police report, creditors have the right to call you M-Sat, 8 am to 8pm (may vary by state) Most identity theft victims find out about the theft by odd collection phone calls for debts they don’t have. That’s why programs like Lifelock are so important to stop it as soon as it starts.
- Even with using a debit or credit card you might still have some liability: Most people assume that you have zero liability for credit fraud. While this is true for most credit cards, debit cards that isn’t the case. According to Card Hub’s 2013 investigation, if your debit card is used fraudulently using your PIN number you can be liable up to $50 if it is reported within 2 business days. If it’s after that your liability can be up to $500, YIKES! That’s why it’s so important to monitor your credit, hint hint Lifelock does a fantastic job at alerting you quickly, and reporting the fraud as soon as you know about it.
- There are secret costs to identity theft: If not properly squashed from the moment of the theft, it can take DECADES to have the harassment and theft stopped. It took this Wisconsin family 13 years to deal with their identity theft, and 13 years later they were still getting turned down to buy a home. That’s way too long.
I didn’t share these unknown facts about identity theft to be a drama queen, I shared them with you guys because it can be just that darn serious. With my former clients, I’ve personally seen the financial and emotional toll it can take on a person.
That’s why you cannot afford to not have an identity theft protection on your side. Lifelock is an amazing company that has been protecting consumers for many years. Here’s some of the great resources they offer their clients:
- Lifelock Identity Theft Services
- How Lifelock Works
- Lifelock Monitoring Services
Ready to give them a whirl? Because you guys rock, Lifelock is offering an exclusive Lifelock coupon code for 10% off for my readers. Just use the code breachwatch at checkout to save the 10%.
Lifelock is helping you not only stay on top of your own identity, but has great resources to stay educated on the latest security breaches at Home Depot and other retailers. Make sure to bookmark the LifeLock Breach watch websites so you get the latest finds on these attacks on consumers’ identities. Don’t live in fear. Educate yourself on identity theft and these consumer breaches, and then protect yourself!
Heather McFarland says
One of the real dangers of identity theft is when criminals obtain Protected Health Information (PHI), and other vital medical records. Your date of birth, social security number, home address – all of this, and more, is so incredibly sensitive that when it falls into the wrong hands it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Always ensure the safety and security of PHI and all other sensitive information by being vigilant as to who you give your information to. Never assume anything – ask if you are unsure. And remember, unlike credit cards that can be easily replaced, we all only have one date of birth, one social security number, so being breached has massive ramifications for years.