Every year approximately 9,000,000 identities are stolen in the United States. It takes very little to steal your identity and to wreak havoc on your financial life. You’re the victim of a serious crime, but you also have to spend time and money to clear your name and correct your financial history.
Identity theft insurance can help you put the pieces back together.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is as simple — and as horrifying — as taking a small piece of your personal information and using it to impersonate you to spend money, commit a crime, or even get a job. Typically the information stolen is your social security number or a bank account number.
Identity theft takes a variety of forms:
- Fraudulent purchases are made with your credit card number.
- Money is withdrawn from your bank account without your approval.
- Credit cards may be opened in your name without your knowledge.
- Bank loans in your name may be approved — and then go unpaid.
Identity thieves may file your taxes and pocket the refund, get a job using your identity, and even buy a home (with a mortgage!) in your name. You won’t have any idea until a bill goes unpaid or you have someone knock on your door with serious questions about your “recent activity.”
How Does Identity Theft Occur?
There are multiple ways you may become the victim of identity theft. Some are obvious and some aren’t.
Important documents may be stolen. These include your wallet, checkbook, credit card, bank statement, or even an application you completed that asks for a social security number or bank account number.
Hardware may go missing or be stolen. If you keep important documents on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or a flash drive, these devices could go missing whether by being lost or stolen. Once a thief has the device, they’ve got all they need to steal your identity.
Scammers still work over the phone and online. Clicking suspicious links or sharing your bank information over the phone are still common ways scammers get the information they need directly from you.
How Identity Theft Insurance Can Help
With an identity theft insurance policy, you’re not alone when a scammer gets your information. You’ll have help from the very beginning until your financial record is fixed. Policy details vary, but your policy may include the following options:
- An assigned case manager to help review your accounts and make corrections to your credit history
- Ongoing credit monitoring
- Notification to the credit bureaus
- Legal fees, application fees, and lost wages
- Replacement of your legal identification
- Help with court proceedings that occur because of the person pretending to be you
If you think you’re the victim of identity theft, there are things you need to do immediately:
- Report that your information has been compromised to credit card companies, your bank, and the police.
- Register a fraud alert
- Report the incident to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
With an identity theft insurance policy, you’ll get help with all of this and more. It’s a devastating time, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Contact Charlotte Insurance today for a quote on a new policy and get the help you need when your identity is stolen.