Identity theft: five steps for prevention and one for reaction.
At one time, identity theft was thought to be mainly a concern for heavy users of technology. But as the bad guys have moved on from hacking computers to penetrating security measures at cash registers and gas pumps in Lincolnshire, Gurnee, and the Chicagoland area, identity theft now threatens anyone using a credit or debit card. What's a prudent plastic user to do?
Experts agree that, short of disabling your electronics, dropping out of the economy and sealing yourself in a remote mountain cave, there will always be risks. Yet, a multi-faceted approach and awareness of identity risks can be effective to minimize the opportunity for identity thieves to make you their next victim.
The Insurance Information Institute offers these preventative measures:
· Use strong passwords on every personal account, especially those with financial and credit information
· Monitor your credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus, as well as your credit card and bank accounts
· Install and keep updated a firewall, anti-spyware and anti-virus programs on all computers
· Keep current on the latest online scams
· Never provide personal information online or over the phone unless you initiated the contact or are sure you are dealing with a legitimate, secure site
For more useful tips, visit I.I.I.’s website.
But what if you learn that, despite your best efforts, the worst happens and your identity is stolen? Immediately notify your bank, credit providers and the credit bureaus.
Victims often find that stopping the fraud is only the first step. There may be other financial burdens to bear:
· Lost income from time you take off work to meet with law enforcement, notify your credit companies, and file documents with financial institutions to prove the fraud
· Costs of any such documents
· Attorney fees that may be incurred if you must defend yourself against lawsuits, remove criminal or civil judgments wrongly rendered against you, or take action to challenge the accuracy and completeness of your damaged credit report
You can help defray these costs with identity theft insurance. Give us a call, and we would be pleased to let you know what coverage is available to limit your exposure to identity theft damages.
Contact us for all of your insurance needs!
Illinois and Wisconsin residents, at R Hobbs Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you've got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at (847) 680-0888 or send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what's important to you is protected!
Content Source: Kemper