5 thoughts on “How big of a threat is identity theft?

  1. Brand X

    It’s a big threat to the unwary. But if you are careful, then it’s only a little threat. Since credit card companies usually end up paying for it, I agree, they want to scare us all into being more careful.

  2. devine_308

    Identity theft can be a huge deal for the person who doesn’t take action. You could have problems if someone steals your identity, I worked in a loan company once where a man bought a few homes under another person’s name, then put equity loans for cash onto those homes and stole the money. The person whose name it was under wasn’t aware of what was happening until he tried to buy a house. This does happen a lot, just don’t hear about every case on the news.

  3. Bob

    It’s a rare occurrence, although I don’t want to minimize the problems for the victim when it does occur.

    It is an “in” thing to report about, so a lot of news coverage lumps in all sorts of old fashioned crime in with identity theft, like forging a check or using a stolen credit card.

    Identity theft is a systematic plan to assume someone else’s identity.

  4. Robert

    According to the FBI, identity theft is the number one crime in America for the seventh year in a row. Typically, an identity is stolen or used fraudulently every three seconds. Two years ago it was every 30 seconds. I think that speaks volumes about how serious a threat it is.

    The problem with identity theft is that once your identity has been stolen, it is stolen for the rest of your life and then some. Just because you die doesn’t mean your identity does and this can cause problems for your family once you are gone. Gone but not forgotten is a term that definately applies to identity theft.

    Identity theft protection services can help with this problem. You will hear that they are a scam or that they have no value because they don’t do anything that you can’t do yourself. And that is true. Of course, you can fix your own car when it breaks down, but you would rather take it to a professional mechanic, right? I don’t see anyone saying mechanics are fraudulant!

    Point is, yes it is a very real threat. The problem cannot be quantified as X number of victims in every thousand because most people never know they are victims until it is too late. Additionally, most victims don’t report the crime to the authorities so no accurate data can be collected.

    If you wish to use an identity theft protection service, don’t allow yourself to be distracted by the claims of million dollar guarantees. Those guarantees are merely gimmicks designed to lure customers. The truth is that no client will ever qualify for that guarantee under any condition when you read the fine print.

    There are some things that identity theft protection companies offer that are proprietary and they will not discuss with the public. This is to be understood as they need to keep the identity thieves at bay. If everyone knew all of the tricks of the trade the thieves would be able to figure out a way around them.

    That said, it should be noted that just about all ID theft protection companies offer the same service, just the bells and whistles are different. IDefender offers free identity theft protection to Veterans, LifeLock offers their million dollar guarantee, IdentityGuard offers a more streamlined process and I even researched one that is almost completely automated, though its name eludes me at the time that I write this. Some credit repair companies are even offering this service to their clients to protect the work they have done.

    As you can see, it is becomming a lucrative business and many believe, myself included, a necessary one.

  5. Tim

    I am truly amazed by the lack of information that gets to the individual. Just these 4 responses range from, no big deal,rare,only if your not careful, etc. Robert is correct, we all should protect ourselves. FTC : #1 crime, #1 fastest growing crime, 1@3 sec, 27,395@day, cost over $60 Billion this year. Not just credit fraud but true Identity Theft. Banking,Government(IRS, drivers licenses, gun permits), Medical ID Theft, etc. FBI states once a thief has your identity they’ll use it 30 times. Most credit monitoring companies are not that much help in the protecting part just the alerting part. To stop the crime you have to stop the criminal. Be very aware.

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