Almost every single person will be a victim of identity theft at some point during their life. To protect yourself, it’s important to understand the different types of identity theft and how to stop them. Keep reading to learn more.
Driver’s License Identity Theft
Your driver’s license can be used to steal your identity if it’s stolen or if thieves take the information off of it. Many financial institutions allow your driver’s license number to be used as online proof of your identity even without checking the physical license or your photo. To prevent this, don’t let anyone but government officials scan or store your driver’s license information.
Your mail often contains sensitive information like your bank statements. Even your utility bills can be used as “proof” that an identity thief is you. If you don’t have a locked mailbox, consider switching to online statements instead.
Targeting Your Minor Children
Identity thieves sometimes go after your children instead of you. That’s because they typically have clean credit files and often have no one monitoring their credit. Even if you have your own credit monitoring service, you may not realize that your 12-year-old needs one. Identity thieves will simply use your child’s name and social security number while faking a different age. To protect them, add them to your identity theft protection plan.
This is one of the oldest forms of identity theft but is much easier with today’s online applications and instant approvals. Identity thieves take out one or more loans in your name and have the proceeds sent to their own bank account. The bills get sent to a fake address, and you only find out when your credit score plummets after the loans are sent to collections. To keep people from applying for credit in your name, put a freeze on your credit report unless you’re actively applying for credit.
Debit and Credit Card Fraud
Debit and credit card fraud is when someone else uses your card to make purchases. They can get your card information through physical skimmers on a gas pump or ATM, an online shopping site with poor security, or a data breach of a physical retail store. If you quickly notice the charges, you’ll usually be able to take advantage of the fraud protection on your card. However, you might have to wait for the money to go back into your checking account or for your credit limit to be restored. To reduce your risk, try to use a credit card instead of a debit card whenever possible and have multiple credit cards you can use in different places.
Get Identity Theft Insurance
Even when your bank offers fraud protection, it usually only covers unauthorized transactions. You may have to spend additional time and money on credit monitoring, paying late fees while your funds are frozen, or other related costs. Identity theft insurance helps make you whole when your losses go beyond your fraud protection.
To learn more or to get a quote, contact Thiel Insurance Group.