Identity Theft Insurance | Tips for avoiding identity theft
Identity Theft Insurance
Identity theft involves apprehending personal information—like Social Security numbers or bank account numbers—and using it to “impersonate” someone for the purpose of stealing.
These crimes are usually financial in nature. For example, identity thieves typically:
- Use stolen credit card numbers
- Take money from victims’ bank accounts
- Open unauthorized credit cards
- Obtain unauthorized bank loans
In some more detailed plans, criminals even utilize the stolen individual data to secure a job, take out an insurance policy, lease a home or take out a home loan (mortgage) in the casualty’s name.
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How do the identity thieves steal information?
- By stealing or otherwise obtaining physical documents– Numerous identity theft cases are the aftereffect of a lost or stolen wallet, checkbook, credit card or physical document. Some store Mastercards may at present require Social Security numbers or other credit data on their composed applications—there have been occurrences of these applications being stolen and utilized by identity thieves. More brave hoodlums utilize out-dated techniques, for example, ‘dumpster jumping’— that is, rooting around in people’s garbage to collect financial information.
- By stealing or obtaining hardware– Your laptop, thumb drives, and other electronic data storage devices are a rich source of your personal information.
- By coaxing personal information via phone calls– Except if you yourself have started the telephone call, don’t give any private information to guests. Authentic financial institutions and organizations make it a point to keep data secure and won’t ask to you give it via telephone.
- By obtaining personal information via online means– Some identity theft plans utilize online tricks like ‘phishing’— where hoodlums utilize email request indicating to be from financial or other online associations to acquire sensitive account information. Identity theft is a potential issue when PC servers’ everywhere establishments are hacked and broken and with web-based shopping or different sites that don’t have security defends set up.
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What is the impact of identity theft?
Casualties of identity theft fraud regularly travel a long and frustrating road to recuperation. Contingent upon the seriousness of the identity theft fraud damage, the recuperation procedure (including getting credit records corrected) can take anyplace from fourteen days to quite a while. Meanwhile, casualties are frequently left with lower credit scores and may experience issues getting credit, obtaining loans and even finding employment.
Does Insurance Cover Identity Theft?
With most credit cards, once you’ve announced the card missing, you’re at risk for an expressed measure of the fraudulent charges. Homeowners insurance and renter’s policies may give a constrained measure of insurance for loss of money or cards.
Be that as it may, identity theft accompanies money related misfortune as well as expansive results like hits surprisingly and notoriety that may take much time and paid professional expertise to resolve. As a result, many companies now provide insurance products that not only cover costs associated with identity theft incident recovery but also provide “restoration” services to make the process easier and faster.
Policies vary by insurer and by state, but some of coverage and services that may be provided include:
- Assignment of a consumer fraud specialist or case manager
- Replacement of government issue identifications
- Assisting with civil judgments, criminal charges, audits or hearings related to fraud perpetrated by the “impostor”
- Resolution services to help reclaim identity and restore credit
- Reimbursement of attorney’s fees
- Reimbursement of administrative fees and expenses and fees
Tips for avoiding identity theft
- Keep the amount of personal information in your purse or wallet to the bare minimum. Avoid carrying additional credit cards, your social security card or passport unless absolutely necessary.
- Guard your credit card when making purchases. Be watchful about great Mastercard keeping propensities—for instance, make it a point to keep your wallet in your grasp to the point that the representative gives back your card. Try not to fall prey to “bear surfers” who might be close-by—shield your hand when utilizing ATM machines and be aware of everyone around you when giving out personal information on the phone.
- Always take credit card or ATM receipts. Don’t throw them into public trash containers, leave them on the counter or put them in your shopping bag where they can easily fall out or get stolen.
- Do not give out personal information. Whether on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet, don’t give out any personal information unless you have initiated the contact, are sure you know who you are dealing with and that the line is secure.
- Proceed with caution when shopping online. Use only secure, authenticated websites to conduct business online. Before submitting personal or financial information through a website, check for the locked padlock image on your browser’s status bar or look for “https://” (rather than http://) in your browser window—the “s” indicates a higher level of security. If you have any concerns about the authenticity of a web page, contact the owner of the site to confirm the URL.
- Be aware of phishing and pharming scams. In these scams, criminals use fake emails and websites to impersonate legitimate organizations. Exercise caution when opening emails, attachments and instant messages from unknown sources. Never give out personal, financial or password related information via email.
- Make sure your computer security is up to date. Have firewall, anti-spyware and anti-virus programs installed on your computer and update regularly.
- Monitor your accounts. Don’t just rely on your Credit Card Company or bank to alert you of suspicious activity. Carefully monitor your bank and credit card statements to make sure all transactions are accurate. If you suspect a problem, contact your Credit Card Company or bank immediately.
- Order copies of your credit report and review for errors. Preferably, get one from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian). By law, you should be able to get at least one for free, and many banks and other financial institutions provide them as a service to their customers.
Your credit report contains information on where you work and live, the credit accounts that have been opened in your name, how you pay your bills and whether you’ve been sued, arrested or filed for bankruptcy. Make sure these reports accurate and includes only those activities you’ve authorized.
- Place fraud alerts at the major credit bureaus. A fraud alert at tells creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or before making any changes (like changes of address) to your existing accounts. This makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open accounts in your name. You just have to contact one bureau; by law, the agency you contact is required to contact the other two.
- Use secure passwords on your credit card, bank, and phone accounts. Avoid using easily available information like your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, any part of your Social Security number or phone number, or any series of consecutive numbers. If you suspect a problem with your credit card, change your password.
- Shred documents with personal information before disposing of them. This includes any paperwork with credit card numbers, bank statements, charge receipts or credit card applications.
What to do if you’re an identity theft victim
- If you’ve had a theft where your personal information has been compromised, such as stolen wallet or credit cards or a phishing scam, immediately report it to the credit card company, applicable financial institutions, and to the police. Ask for a copy of the police report (you will need it if you want to file an insurance claim).
- If you are—or suspect you’ve been—the victim of a phishing scam or other electronic incident, immediately report the incident to any of your financial institutions or credit card companies that might be compromised, and register a fraud alert with a credit reporting company.
- Learn more about potential large-scale data breaches and privacy issues from organizations such as the non-profit Privacy Rights Clearing House.
- Report identity theft incidents or attempts to federal agencies that monitor them, such as the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Information Identity Theft, which can provide further advice and assistance.
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The case of identity theft is very rampant. News of impersonation, computer hacking, phone stealing, credit cards snatching and coaxing are experienced every day in various places. This is a call to extreme care and urgent alert as this will enable the problems of identity theft to be reduced to the barest minimum.