Identity theft can happen to anyone and it can happen in a variety of ways.
I’ve personally experienced it when one of my credit cards was cloned, and about a year ago my son lost thousands of dollars out of his personal bank account because his debit card information was compromised (that loss was not covered by the bank).
In recent weeks our firm has seen two different clients that both experienced fraudulent attempts to create fake profiles on the Social Security website in order to enroll for benefits to be directly deposited into the thief’s bank account. The thieves knew that the individuals had reached the age 62 threshold for applying for benefits. Just last week, a co-worker was notified by his bank that there had been over 1000 attempts to access his account from an Android device that was using his log-in ID but did not have his correct password. He said, “Some people (or bots) have full-time jobs trying to hack into our information and steal from us.”
These are just a few examples identity fraud – there are so many ways that our personal information can be used for illegal gain. You’ve probably heard about the tax refund scam, but you may not know about medical insurance theft, or scams involving rental properties and utilities. These fraudsters are creative and they are relentless. Identity fraud is at an all-time high. The incidence rate of such fraud jumped by 16% from 2015 to 2016, with an increase of more than 2 million more victims.
Valeo Financial Advisors, LLC will be presenting a flash session, “What can you do to protect your identity?” at the Summit on October 4th. Please join us as we discuss ways that you can limit your liability from identity theft and make it harder for thieves to gain access to your personal information.
Misty M. Soderstrom, CEBS
Valeo Financial Advisors, LLC