How identity theft happens
There are a lot of ways identity theft can happen to you. Hackers may get your information from a data security breach. Or, you may innocently provide it on social media, during conversions overheard by others or by leaving financial documents out in the open. That information may include:
- Social Security number
- Full name, address, and birth date
- Credit card or bank account numbers
- Car insurance or medical insurance account numbers
- Details that can tip off people to your account-recovery questions, such as your first pet’s name or favorite place to visit.
With this information, criminals could impersonate you, max out your credit cards, rent an apartment, drain you bank account, plus a whole list of other dirty deeds. Thieves can even access the Social Security number of a deceased person, commit fraud, and create problems for the estate.
10 Warning Signs of Identity Theft
If your identity has been stolen, the sooner you find out the sooner you can start managing the damages. According to the Federal Trade Commission, here are 10 warning signs your identity has been stolen:
- Unexplained withdrawals from your bank account.
- You are no longer receiving bills and other mail that you normally receive.
- Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
- You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
- Merchants refuse your checks.
- 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 was 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.
Identity Theft Insurance
Many insurance companies offer identity theft insurance. The coverage options vary depending on the policy and insurance company. Some benefits this coverage may provide include the following:
- Coverage for expenses incurred to recover your identity, including phone bills, lost wages, notary, and certified mail costs, and (sometimes with prior consent of your insurance company) attorney fees.
- Restoration and resolution services to assist you in the process of restoring your identity and repairing your credit report.
- Little to no adverse impact on premium. Some identity theft policies are written to ensure your premium will not increase if you have a claim. Talk with your agent to see if this option is available on your policy.
Identity theft insurance is more affordable than you may think, and it is simple to add to your current insurance policy.
If you need assistance with identity theft coverage give us a call at Hennessey, Thames & Leavitt Insurance Agency in Vicksburg, MS. You can reach us by phone at 601-636-5560, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or come by and see us at 1001 Belmont Street. Check us out on Facebook or our website at www.leavitt.com/Vicksburg.