ID theft is the act of another person or entity using, without your explicit or implicit approval and for purposes of committing fraud or other crimes, personal distinguishing information belonging to you, such as your:
• Full name
• Driver’s license information
• Social Security Number
• Credit card information
• Bank account information
This is why identity theft insurance is extremely important!
Do I have Identity Theft Insurance?
This is not covered on a standard home policy and is required to be added as an additional coverage. It is typically inexpensive to add and I recommend it.
What am I covered for?
Identity theft insurance in short will reimburse you for any expenses incurred from ID theft. This includes:
• reasonable expenses for retaining a firm to assist in reporting the crime
• reimbursement of lost wages or salary
• reasonable costs for retaining an attorney
• reasonable expenses from reporting the ID theft. Including mailing , phone calls or having documents notarized.
• Reasonable costs for loan application fees or reapplication fees that you were denied for solely because of the incorrect information on the credit report.
Take steps to prevent ID Theft:
• Secure your social security number. Don’t carry your social security card in your wallet or write your number on your checks. Only give out your social security number (SSN) when absolutely necessary.
• Don’t respond to unsolicited requests for personal information (your name, birth-date, social security number, or bank account number) by phone, mail, or online.
• Watch out for “shoulder surfers.” Shield the keypad when typing your passwords on computers and at ATM’s.
• Collect mail promptly. Ask the post office to put your mail on hold when you are away from home.
• Pay attention to your billing cycles. If bills or financial statements are late, contact the sender.
• Review your receipts. Ask for carbon copies and incorrect charge slips as well. Promptly compare receipts with account statements. Watch for unauthorized transactions.
• Shred receipts, credit offers, account statements, and expired cards, to prevent “dumpster divers” from getting your personal information.
• Store personal information in a safe place at home and at work.
• Install firewalls and virus-detection software on your home computer.
• Create complex passwords that identity thieves cannot guess easily. Change your passwords if a company that you do business with has a breach of its databases
• Order your credit report once a year and review to be certain that it doesn’t include accounts that you have not opened. Check it more frequently if you suspect someone has gained access to your account information.