Identity Theft: What Can You Do?

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The FTC says that Identity theft is the fastest growing crime against consumers in the U.S.  Over 50 million victims have been hurt by this invasive crime.

The two main ways a person’s identity is taken are using personal information to access current accounts or using personal information to open new accounts. Two thirds of all victims are from simple credit fraud. That is simply stealing credit card numbers and making charges to the account.

However over the last year New Account Fraud has jumped over 50%.  This form of identity theft is much harder to detect because the new accounts are made and sent to the criminals address.  If you, as a consumer, are not actively monitoring your identity or credit reports it could be months or years before you are aware this has happened.  Most consumers only pull credit reports before a big purchase like a car or house.

On average the personal loss experienced through identity theft is over $4,000 dollars! It takes between 175-600 hours to recover your identity after it has been stolen and usually more money to get your credit restored. What makes it even more frustrating is that only 1:700 thieves are caught.

The stories are everywhere.  Target’s security breach is just the latest national example of this.  Consumer  information was compromised and people lost money all around the nation. A local grocery chain in the midwest left over 2 million people vulnerable after a security breach. It happens all the time, so what can you do?

Identity theft protection is the best method to secure your information.  The FEN Team has a great resource for you.  Our program does an amazing job of patrolling the internet for your private information.  When you are covered by their service you enter in email addresses, bankcards, addresses etc and they notify you when they see your info out on the web.  You also have  coverage if your information was every taken.  You have insurance on your house, car, personal property etc. Why wouldn’t you have it on your identity? For less than a $100 a year you can rest assured your information is protected. Protecting your identity is extremely important.

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