Identity Theft is for Everyone
Why Document Destruction is Essential.
According to the FTC, identity theft rose 45% in 2020. As many as 1 in 3 Americans reported some version of identity theft in 2021, and the numbers are climbing. Destroying your sensitive information and that of your clients and/or patients is a key function to preventing the devastation that comes with this type of growing crime. Here are the top 5 most common types of identity fraud… Are you at risk?
Financial Identity Theft
Seemingly obvious enough, financial identity theft includes the compromising of your existing financial accounts, or the creation of new ones without your permission, with a reported average loss of $3500. Old bank statements, credit line offers, insurance claims… these are all prime examples of easy ways to share your information with unwanted eyes.
Medical Identity Theft
Thieves can use your identity to obtain medical care, fill prescriptions or even receive healthcare payments under your name. This can lead to an impact on your health record, your healthcare costs and eventually your credit report. Be wary of depositing medical bills and explanations of benefits from your insurance company into your household trash can.
Criminal Identity Theft
This is a use of your name, social security number, birthdate, etc. as identifiers when a thief is charged with a crime and/or commits a crime, which results in a criminal record being created in your name. Any document or electronic device with your personal information needs to be securely destroyed to avoid unintentional distribution.
Synthetic Identity Theft
Different than “true” identity theft this type of theft adds on identifiers to create a new persona. A thief may use your social security number and then fabricate a new name, birthdate and address to go along with it. According to the Federal Trade Commission, this is the fastest growing type of identity theft. Your computer, cell phone, mail, drivers license, flash drives are all examples of “partial” identifiers that can be used to fabricate a new identity.
Child Identity Theft
Over 1 million children in 2020 were victims of child identity theft. Children’s information is particularly attractive because it’s unused, untainted and often unchecked by their parents who think they have no need to keep watch of their child’s credit report. School records, foster care records, and insurance claims are all attractive to thieves. And Pro Tip: check your child’s credit report… even if they’re not quite ready for that new Corvette Z06.
This is Kevin, signing off! I’m headed off to do what I do best (protecting the yard from the mischievous fence monsters, a.k.a. squirrels), so my owner can do what he does best (keeping his customer’s information safe and secure)! Bark at you soon!