What is Identity Theft?

If you haven’t heard the term “Identity Theft” before, you should start learning more about it! In today’s digital and connected world, we entrust more and more personal information to the cloud. With all the data out there in cyberspace, there are a growing number of thieves and hackers just waiting for the opportunity to steal your personal information. The costs to families are staggering. According to a United States Bureau of Justice Statistics report, Identity Theft crimes affected nearly 17 million Americans in 2012 and cost families nearly $25 Billion dollars. That’s nearly twice the cost of all other property crimes in the U.S. put together.

In essence, identity theft is when someone steals another person's name, personal data and/or legal identity for purposes of defamation, obtaining credit and benefits, or theft of resources. It is the fastest-growing crime in the world, and therefore, it’s important that people know the risks or what to do to avoid these online crimes.

Since identity theft is a fairly new crime, the government, public organizations and businesses are still learning how to address the issue, either by prevention or damage control once personal information is stolen.

Long-lasting Effects of a Stolen Identity

Having your identity stolen can result in long-term consequences such as a lower credit score. If someone uses your identity to make a big purchase or obtain credit, your credit score might be affected. With a lower credit score, you might have more difficulty taking out a loan, landing a job, or finding cheap rates on auto insurance.

Cyber thieves could also file a false tax refund with the IRS using your personal information. If that happens, you might not get the money you deserve, or it may be delayed. And there might be problems with future tax forms.

At Infinity Insurance we care about you and your family’s security. By knowing the dangers and warning signs of identity theft, you can avoid falling into its trap. We’d like to offer some helpful information and advice about this all-too-common crime.

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