Archive for the ‘Identity theft information’ Category

LifeLock review: The Aftermath 2008

Monday, June 1st, 2009

The Identity Theft Resource Center released their sixth annual retrospective report on ID theft this week, “Identity Theft: The Aftermath 2008.”

This year’s report provides a lot of pertinent information lacking in previous years’ reporting. For instance, this year’s report broke 0ut subcategories for loans taken out by identity thieves, revealing that the most common type of loan taken out was mortgages or second mortgages (33%).

This most recent report also provides new information about medical identity theft and how victims discovered the theft. In nearly all cases, victims discovered the thefts when they received bills or calls from bill collectors for medical services they never received. More alarming, though, is that 33% discovered the crime when they found out there was someone else’s medical information in their records.

The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) estimated last year that in every schoolroom there is at least one child victim of identity theft. Sadly, the crime probably won’t be discovered for many years, and the younger the victim, the longer the crime will go undetected, which explains why 17% of child identity theft crimes begin before the victim is even a year old. The perpetrators of child identity theft are most often children’s parents, stepparents or other family members.

In light of the new information in the ITRC report, you owe it to yourself and your family to learn more about how LifeLock protects their members. Visit LifeLock.com for more information. When you’re ready to enroll, use the LifeLock promo code DEFENSE and to get the absolute lowest price available.

Identity theft information. Learn more about why you need LifeLock protection.

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Financial identity theft is on the news, in the newspaper, and a topic of conversation wherever you go. It seems everyone you talk to either knows someone who’s been a victim, or has been a victim themselves.

Findings on the impact and scope of financial identity theft:
• So far, 15 million Americans have been victims of financial ID theft. With a national population of 300 million, that means 1 in 20 has been hit.

• Personal financial losses average $1,244.

• The estimated loss to businesses and consumers in 2005 was $56.6 billion.

• All branches of the federal government report losses of personal data, only a small percentage of which was caused by hackers. By far the majority of losses is the result of theft of laptops, disks, drives or unauthorized use by employees.

• Corporate and governmental security breeches account for 217,551,182 compromised records.

• 88 percent of all identity theft is the result of synthetic identity theft, rather than the better known true name identity theft.

• It takes an average of 600 hours to resolve issues of identity theft, though a many victims report that even after that time negative financial information remains on their credit report.

• Victims of financial identity theft report a level of emotional impact similar to victims of rape, assault and repeated battering. Some say they felt dirty, defiled or ashamed.

• Family stress, divorce, difficulty in finding employment and obtaining credit are common byproducts of identity theft

• Most financial identity theft is a crime of opportunity and is perpetrated by family members, neighbors or employees.

What can you do to prevent financial identity theft?
Given that your financial ID is almost entirely in the hands of government and corporate entities, there is little you can do to prevent identity theft. There are, however, steps you can take to minimize the risk and resultant damage should identity theft occur.
• Keep all documents with identifying information under lock and key. Carry no more identification or credit cards in your wallet than is absolutely necessary.

• Do not leave incoming or outgoing mail in your mailbox.

• Check your credit report at least every six months.

• Consider subscribing to an identity theft protection service. Service levels vary, but should include credit monitoring, fraud alerts and recovery services. Visit LifeLock.com to learn more about their service. Enroll using the LifeLock promotion code Defense for the best discount.

Sources for this article and for further information about financial identity theft include:
• US Dept. of Justice (www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html)
• Javelin Strategy and Research (www.javelinstrategy.com)
• Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (www.privacyrights.org)
• Identity Theft Resource Center (www.idtheftcenter.org)