What is the Real Effect of Identity Theft
Identity theft is one of the most financially and emotionally devastating crimes one can be a victim of. Not only do the crooks steal your money, but they steal the one thing that truly makes us who we are…your identity. Just the thought of someone out there using your identity, the identity that you’ve worked hard to build up, for their own gain makes most people cringe.
The most obvious costs that come from being identity theft victim are financial. Almost every case of identity theft results in a financial loss for the victim. The goal of most identity thieves is to use your identity to get credit cards or other loans in your name. Sometimes they will even pretend to be you at the bank in order to clean out your account.
Most people don’t even know they have been a victim of identity theft until they try to apply for a credit card or a loan. In some cases the crime was committed years ago, and the web of destruction is so thick that it seems impossible to repair your credit. In fact, those who are affected by identity theft spend on average 600 hours trying to fix the damage that has been done. You must spend hours upon hours filling out paper work and dealing with other forms of red tape that fixing the damage can become a full time job.
Most people must deal with high levels of stress on a daily basis, and being a victim of identity theft can take that stress to a whole new level. Many victims of identity theft suffer from severe physical problems from the stress the crime causes. Getting your bank account cleared out is bad enough, but someone also stealing your health is another thing altogether. While the financial cost is certainly very high (victims spend an average of $8,000 to repair their good name) the emotional cost of identity theft could be considered higher.
Many people are now turning to indent insurance companies to protect themselves from this costly crime. For the price of a movie ticket each moth these companies can protect you from identity theft.
When you look at the facts it’s clear that everyone should do something to protect themselves from this crime. Someone becomes a victim of identity theft every 4 seconds…don’t let that person be you.
Clues That Someone Has Stolen Your Information
- You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
- You don’t get your bills or other mail.
- Merchants refuse your checks.
- Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
- You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
- Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
- Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
- A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
- The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return were filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
- You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.