I recently have been speaking with a Certified Identity Theft and Risk Management Specialist, as being a victim of Identity Theft and taking over a year to fix the problem, I wanted to do more research on how this happens, and what I can do to protect myself and those I care about most, my family and my clients.
First of all, I found out some very scary forms of Identity Theft or (IDT)
Medical Identity Theft: Someone who has access to your Social Security Number, Plan number and some other information on you can walk into a Doctor's office or Hospital, give them your information in order to obtain medical attention and medication, uses your identity and Hospitalization coverage. This goes into your medical file, and your primary care physician sees treatments and medication on your charts that you never received. Complications can arise, including those of notification of services rendered if you have limits on coverage. Illegal Immigrants are stealing identities to do provide coverage for their families. Imagine you getting medication from your doctor that is misleading and false? That is why HIPAA was created under FACTA, aka. the FACT Act passed, along with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. (GLBA) to force businesses to comply with identity and personal information protection.
Credit Card Fraud: Do you sign your credit card receipts? Do you see where your credit card is at all times when you go to a restaurant? Here is a good one, do you carry your Social Security Card in your wallet? Is your Social Security Number on your Driver's license? Been there, done that. Mine involved a simple inquiry that turned into a cell phone account. Did you ever send secured information on the Internet? If a pop up doesn't come up to show you are on a secured site, your information is open to anyone hacking in and reading your emails. Did you ever leave mail in your mail box for the carrier to pick up? Theives can read your account information, put the bill back in the mail, and you would never know.
Personal Identity Theft: Ever wonder who is using your Social Securit Number to obtain a job? Did you know that this is a source for Illegal Immigrants to access employment by using someone else's Social Security numbers. Check with the Social Security office to make sure the withholdings reported are accurate, and not inflated by someone else's employment. Here is another scenario for you, someone stealing your identity and obtain a duplicate driver's license, getting into an accident and a citation, and I will let you guess the rest. By the time you find out, your insurance company has probably raised your rates, and you could have your license suspended.
I counsel my loan applicants on Identity Theft and warn them of the need to abate this growing and abusive problem. I found a solution to this problem, not only for myself, but also for others concerned about this issue.
Disclaimer: This author is not an attorney; therefore, information provided herein is not to be construed as any form of legal advice, nor intended to provide legal advice and counsel. Please consult with an attorney for more informaton in your jurisdiction.