Don't become a victim of financial identity theft
Financial identity theft in the United States creates $54 billion dollars in damages and 15 million victims a year — and yes, some of those victims are cops
Can financial identity theft be perpetrated upon a victim without that person’s knowledge or awareness that his valuable information has been stolen?
There are approximately 15 million victims of financial identity theft annually in the United States. Many of these victims are not aware that thousands of dollars have been stolen from them until they are denied credit or access to their existing banking relationships.
Financial Identity Theft
Financial identity theft is the most pervasive type of identity theft today and accounts for 28 percent of all identity fraud, impacting millions of Americans each year.
In the United States cost for financial identity theft are estimated at $54 billion annually.
A person can suffer destroyed credit, an inability to acquire loans or additional forms of credit, loss of savings, loss of employment, loss of security, and other unfortunate circumstances.
How Financial Identity Theft Occurs
• Theft: Call it old school or low-tech, stolen wallets or purses still make-up 43 percent of identity theft when the “method of access” is known
• Cons: Through phone calls, letters, or emails, many thieves use elaborate schemes designed to trick the victim into revealing personal or account information
Cell Phone Financial Identity Theft
Professor Baker stated, “Often, credit card companies limit your financial responsibility if your card is stolen and fraud is committed. This is not true for your checking and savings bank accounts. Money fraudulently withdrawn can be costly.”
Ms. Baker offered the following tips for protecting oneself from mobile financial theft:
• Never store financial information on your cell phone — logins, passwords, account numbers, Social Security numbers, etc. — not even in a mobile application
It should be noted that teenagers and young adults are particularly vulnerable to mobile identity theft because they are comfortable sharing information through their cell phones. Professor Barker says that parents need to discuss these dangers with their teens when they open their first bank accounts and monitor their accounts regularly.
How Financial Identity Theft Affects You
Financial identity theft can frequently destroy a victim’s credit. This is an issue that can take weeks, months or even years to repair. In the beginning of the act, a victim may be denied loans for mortgages, the opportunity to open a bank account and even turned down for employment.
Agencies to Report Financial Identity Theft
• Step 1: File a Report. This report, also known as an Identity Theft Report, is a report made to your local, state, or federal law enforcement agency. Even if the theft occurred in a different country or state, the theft report should be filed with your local police station.
• Step 2: Contact one of the three credit report agencies and ask that they issue a fraud alert and attach notice to your credit report. The three credit bureaus and other agencies:
Please go to: www.CommodoreEds.com. For more sound investment advice, visit Edwin Stephens’ web site at www.policeone.com/columnists/Edwin-Stephens/. Securities transactions through McClurg Capital Corporation. Member FINRA and SIPC.
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