Across the country, the threat of identity theft continues to climb, this white collar crime continues to plague American consumers, and while it has a direct impact on your wallet, its not just about the money anymore. From using your medical benefits to enable illegal immigration to more insidious crimes, identity fraud criminals are continually inventing new ways to use stolen information.
1.) Drivers License Identity – In America, our driver’s licenses, issued by each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles or Department of Transportation, have become our national identification card. Unlike a passport, we carry our driver’s license with us almost everywhere, multiplying the potential for theft. If your driver’s license is stolen and used by someone who receives a DUI or DWI and then fails to appear in court, you may be arrested.
A Pre-Paid Legal membership with the Legal Shield add-on gives you access to an attorney 24-hours a day via a toll-free phone call. It’s easy to understand the value of having a lawyer on call in the event that you’re stopped by police and there’s a warrant for your arrest for failure to appear in court.
2.) Medical Identity – When someone uses your name, Social Security Number, birth date or your insurance card to obtain medical services, they’ve attacked your medical identity. Whether they assume your identity for the purpose of getting tests, or to receive treatment, not only will your name be on the bill, but the results may become part of your medical history. In some instances medical identity theft means someone else is using your medical benefits.
Setting the Medical Information Bureau straight – and restoring your medical identity – in most cases requires an attorney. With a Pre-Paid Legal membership, you’ll have qualified legal counsel at your fingertips.
3.) Social Security Number Identity – When your Social Security Number is used by an identity thief to file with the Internal Revenue Services (IRS), you are stuck in the middle with the tax bill, and a serious need for an attorney. If an undocumented worker uses your Social Security Number to get a job, the income reported to the IRS from the W-2 will raise a red flag as unreported income on your tax return. Alternately, if the thief files before you, the IRS will believe that you have already filed and received your refund, and the return you submitted is a second copy or duplicate. With a Pre-Paid Legal membership you have access to legal counsel and to IRS audit legal services if needed.
4.) Character Identity – It may seem like something out of a movie, but when someone assumes your identity and commits a crime in your name, the drama is real. If your being detained or arrested for a crime you did not commit, you will obviously want to speak to an attorney. The Legal Shield (if available in your jurisdiction) gives you access to an attorney across North America by telephone 24 hours a day if you are being detained or arrested. In a situation like this, it’s not likely that your credit card company will be of any assistance. Quick detection is essential in the fight against identity theft. The Identity Theft Shield alerts you when there has been a change on your Experian credit file, which could be a change of address or change to your public records, including felonies.
5.) Financial/Credit Identity Theft – This form of fraud is the one most commonly recognized as identity theft: stealing your identity for financial gain. A thief may set up accounts in your name, use your existing accounts, borrow money against your home, or purchase cars or even a house in your name. When your credit has been exhausted – and ruined – the thief disappears and leaves you with the daunting task of clearing your own name.
One of the greatest misunderstandings about identity theft is that consumers do not lose money. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. If your credit transaction is covered by Regulation E, you only have two days to report a charge before you start losing money. If you do not deny the debt within 60 days, your financial institution is under no obligation to relieve you of the debt. Because identity thieves often change the mailing address on file with creditors, it is common for victims to be unaware of a theft situation until months after the crime has occurred. In situations like these – and many others – the early detection and restoration services that come with the Identity Theft Shield and the legal services of a Pre-Paid Legal membership, provide an added layer of protection. The hours involved in dealing with identity theft add up. It’s reported that it takes 600 hours to deal with true identity theft, do you understand now how the Pre-Paid Legal membership combined with the Identity Theft Shield can be an invaluable service to you and your family. Pre-Paid Legal is the only company that offers a suite of products that fights identity theft before during and after the crime.
Remember no one is immune, an experienced thief can assume your identity and ruin your credit and your reputation. A while there are measures you can take to safeguard your identity, including Pre-Paid Legal’s Identity Theft Shield, no one is immune. The difference for those who employ the services Pre-Paid Legal offers is that when you become a victim, you have the power of legal counsel and the experience of licensed investigators working on your behalf. You have the power to fight back.