Showing posts with label identitytheft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label identitytheft. Show all posts

The Real Cost of Identity Theft


The Real Cost of Identity Theft
It is no secret that having your identity stolen is something you should actively protect yourself against. Resolving an identity theft is time consuming, may cause you to have credit requests denied, and leaves people feeling personally invaded. However, many people do not realize that their finances could take a significant hit after one’s identity is stolen, often in surprising ways. Every situation is different and much of the damage is not easily quantifiable.  When thinking about the potential cost of having your identity stolen, consider the following factors:
  • Time – When your identity is stolen, there is a long list of tasks you must complete immediately, including filling out an identity theft report, freezing your credit and requesting copies of your credit report. This takes time, often a lot of time, which takes away from other activities, such as spending time with family or possibly working. You will also need to carefully review your credit report regularly for the next few years to make sure new instances of fraud do not show up.
  • Higher interest rates – Identity theft victims may see their credit scores drop over time after a thief hasused stolen personal information to open a loan or new credit account and thendefaulted on payments.  In the meantime, this means that if your car is totaled in an accident and you apply for a car loan, you may end up paying a higher interest rate due to your damaged credit score.
  • Loss of Opportunity Costs – In some cases, your credit may be so damaged that you cannot even get a loan after an identity theft, according to a survey conducted by the Identity Theft Resource Center. This means you may not be able to buy the renovated condo down the street that is a fantastic deal, but instead pay a higher price next year for a unit in need of an update.
The bottom line is that each time your identity is stolen, you will face unexpected costs, both in dollars and hours. The best solution is to take steps to protect your identity. And spending a small amount each month to help keep your identity secure and prevent widespread damage if fraud is detected can end up saving you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Steps To Recover From Identity Theft

How can you recover from identity theft?

Having your identity stolen can be an overwhelming experience. It often takes a financial and emotional toll.

So, how can you recover from ID theft?

The first step is discovering the ID theft:

According to a source, financial institutions and credit monitoring service companies are becoming better at catching identity fraud. In 2012, a bank or credit card issuer alerted consumers of the identity theft.

However, you still need to be vigilant. The study highlights that 50 percent of consumers found the fraud themselves by monitoring their bank accounts, credit card statements and credit scores and by purchasing identity protection services.

How long the process may take:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that it can take approximately six months and 200 hours of work to recover from an identity theft. This estimation is based on the amount of work needed to follow the necessary steps to ensure the victim is not responsible for the debt incurred.

Read the full story here.

Three Relatively Unknown But Exploited Ways To Steal Your Identity

Protecting your identity does not necessarily end at just shredding documents or choosing strong passwords. Identity thieves can be very creative and can attack where and when you least expect it.

Here are 3 ways through which identity thieves can steal vital personal information:

1. Unsecured Wi-Fi connections:

Free Wi-Fi in a public place is great, but can also be the perfect location for identity thieves to get your personal information. How? Not all public Wi-Fi networks are properly secured, which can enable hackers to sniff out your personal information.

This does not mean that you should completely stop using free Wi-Fi services. Be sure that you have the right security programs or apps set up on your device. Consider installing software protection such as firewalls, anti-spyware and antivirus software. Avoid conducting any online banking transactions on unsecured networks, too.

2. Smartphone theft:

Losing your phone to a thief is horrible enough. However, this can even lead to another, more dangerous kind of theft on your identity. Using the personal information stored in apps, thieves can easily break into your other accounts and retrieve data that can allow them to cash in.

You may want to install an app to allow you to remotely wipe your phone or make sure you’re taking advantage of the password function on your phone. Therefore, if your phone is ever stolen, thieves may have less opportunity to get into it.

3. Public records.

While you may not be posting much of your personal information online or on social networking sites, your data can still be found on other sites.

For example, some websites have information such as full names, addresses and zip codes that can be available on their public databases. This form of data is often used to verify the identity via security questions.


Being aware of these three areas of possible ID theft vulnerability can help you cover more of your bases. It can be a challenge to secure all potential routes to your personal information, but it has to be done because the alternative of getting your identity stolen is a much worse fate.