Brace yourself for the possibility an identity thief is someone you know. All the care you take with your identity cannot protect you from insider family knowledge of your identity. A shocking TransUnion study found 32% of identity theft victims discovered a family member or relative was responsible for stealing their identity. Additionally their study found 18% were victimized by a friend, neighbor or in-home employee.
So the people you are supposed to trust the most are the most dangerous to the protection of your identity.
Some people want your identity for non-credit purposes. He or she may justify the fraud by figuring they are not hurting you because they are not getting a loan or credit with your identity. They may be just using it to get a job, avoid child support or tax garnishments. This use of your identity is the least detectible by current ID protection services, but Investigative reports can get to the bottom of who is using your identity. You are pretty defenseless against a family member or friend because of their access to your personal details but…
Did you know your trash is also defenseless!
Recently I had a trash digger in my front yard. We watched as she slowly, calmly and legally poked holes in our garbage and put bags into her white Forerunner truck. The bags she took were the ones with paper receipts, bill copies, insurance claim responses…you name it. Why this is not illegal I do not know. Why would a person take my garbage targeting paper? You guessed it. They want to steal my identity and use it for fraudulent purposes. Side Note: If you are also disturbed by these trash diggers, please write your Congressman; We should consider making it it illegal for non-government officials to pick up your trash at the curb.
Whether you have had your identity stolen by a relative or friend, a trash digger, a con-artist, or a complete stranger, the outcome feels the same…HORRIBLE. It feels like being caught in a blizzard without a jacket. I believe it is better to fight back than to lay down and give up.
Here are 4 Ways to Fight Back -
1. The first thing you may want to consider doing is putting a fraud alert on at all the credit bureaus. If you don’t need to obtain new credit cards or loans, you may want to consider freezing your credit. Discuss your options with the three major credit bureaus (Transunion, Experian, Equifax.)
2. File a police report with your local police agency. Seek out identity theft specialty task force or specialty investigators with your local and State police.
3. You may want to opt to monitor your credit with a credit monitoring service. Check into the credit bureaus service offerings and prices. Experian has “Protect My ID”.
4. Cluso Investigation has 2 reports which may help you. egoDefense and Comprehensive Investigative Report (CIR). If someone used your identity when they were arrested, there may be criminal records listed with your identity information. You may not want to find out about these records AFTER they affect your next job opportunity. egoDefense searches for all public records mistaken for you so you can gather evidence EARLY. CIR is an Investigation report searching for who may using your identity fraudulently so that you can report the person to authorities. You will have to avoid the temptation to drag them out of their apartment by their ears though!
If you are a victim of identity theft, take the “Victim” out of this problem, take action and FIGHT BACK.