Consider the following...
Personal information is everywhere and is easily accessible to identity thieves.
Identity theft continues to be a rampant and troubling crime in America.
Each year, an estimated 10 million people are victimized.
Identity theft can affect your ability to conduct normal daily affairs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft or identity fraud is a criminal event that occurs when one person takes sensitive personal information belonging to somebody else and uses it without authority for abuse or gain. Identity theft can affect your ability to conduct normal daily affairs and cost you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours trying to get back your good name.
How does an identity thief get my personal information?
There are many ways to obtain information and falsify or create counterfeit documents. Sensitive personal information is readily accessible and can easily be abused by unscrupulous people. Social security numbers, birth certificates, driver's licenses, credit card information, and financial account numbers can be obtained via a lost wallet, "dumpster diving", the mail, your employer, your hospital, or your Internet account, to name a few. The ability to obtain sensitive information about someone is far too easy, and identity thieves pursue a variety of fraudulent schemes that impact a victim's financial, employment, medical, tax, and even criminal record and status.
Is identity theft more than just credit card fraud?
There are over 25 different types of identity theft, which we classify into three primary areas:
Financial Identity Theft
Most people have financial relationships and some degree of established credit. Financial identity fraud can occur within every opportunity to manipulate new or existing financial relationships. Because of the vast array for potential abuse, it is important to monitor each of your financial relationships. Credit reports provided by the three main credit bureaus are perhaps the best way to monitor existing and any newly created fraudulent relationships.
Criminal Identity Theft
A significant burden of identity fraud can occur when an imposter commits a crime in your name. If the imposter has false identification, they can masquerade as you and commit felony or misdemeanor crimes. They can present false ID in the event the authorities catch them. If the crime is serious, they may go to jail and have their fingerprints taken but if the crime is less serious or if they escape the scene, you may receive a notice to appear in court for violations you are not responsible for. A criminal record can be posted nationwide to your identity and you may not realize this until you apply for a job, apply for credit, or a warrant for your arrest is issued. In some cases, the ability to clear your record is more difficult in criminal fraud verses financial fraud.
Other Types of Identity Theft
Employment Fraud • Social Security Fraud • Tax Refund Fraud • Student Loan Fraud • Application Fraud • Bankruptcy Fraud • Cellular Fraud • Charity Fraud • Check Fraud • Commercial Loan Fraud • Computer Fraud • Confidence Fraud/Con Games • Consumer Loan Fraud • Credit Card Fraud • Drug Trafficking • Election Fraud • Food Stamp Fraud • Gaming Fraud • Insurance Fraud/False Claims • Investors Fraud • Merchants Fraud • Medical-Health Fraud • Money Laundering • Pyramid Schemes • Real Estate-Mortgage Fraud • Securities Fraud • Social Security Benefit Fraud • Student Loan Fraud • Telemarketing • Terrorism • Workers' Compensation Fraud
What steps can I take to prevent identity theft?
Report Lost or Stolen Credit and Bank Cards
Obtain Credit Reports
Place Fraud Alert or Security Freeze
Know Your Financial Accounts
Monitor Bills/ Mail
Protect Your Social Security Number
Safely Dispose or Shred Personal Information
Secure Computer Usage
Identity fraud prevention is very important. You should do everything in your power to prevent someone from stealing your identity and more importantly from being able to use it fraudulently. For more detail on prevention tips, please visit our Prevention Tips.
What is a fraud alert or flag?
A 'fraud' or 'security' alert is a consumer statement that can be placed on your credit file asking creditors to contact you to verify your identity before issuing credit in your name. This action can help prevent fraudulent accounts from being opened. An initial fraud alert is free to all consumers and remains on your credit file for 90 days. To place an initial fraud alert, contact one of the national credit reporting agencies:
Learn more about fraud alerts.
What is a security freeze?
A security or credit freeze is the best prevention against new account fraud. Placing a freeze on your credit files limits the access to view your reports to creditors with whom you already have a financial relationship. Other creditors looking to access your reports to issue credit will be told your report is inaccessible. In most cases, the creditor will not grant credit without viewing your reports. In order for you to open new accounts, apply for a job, or get a loan, you will need to thaw your credit reports. You can do this over the phone with a special PIN number given to you by the credit reporting agencies after placing the freeze. Freeze laws and costs vary by state, but are often less expensive than credit monitoring and do a much better job at preventing new account fraud. See a state by state guide to credit freeze laws and costs.
How do I know if I am a victim?
There are many ways you may become aware that your identity is being used fraudulently. Checking your own banking and billing statements for changes or unknown purchases will help you become aware of some kinds of fraud as soon as it happens. Other times you will only become aware after the fact. Here are the most common ways to know if you are a victim:
Charges on your statements for purchases you did not make
Failing to receive regular bill in the mail
Fraudulent accounts or inaccurate information on your credit reports
Bills from creditors you do not have a relationship with
Collection calls or letters for accounts you never had
Being denied credit for no apparent reason
What do I do if I think I am a victim?
For Identity Fraud, Inc. members, victim assistance is only a phone call away and if victim expenses are incurred, identity insurance helps cover the cost. Fortunately, in most cases of fraud, victims are not responsible for losses. However, proving your innocence is often a difficult task. That's why Identity Fraud, Inc. resolution services and identity insurance remain important.
If you are not a member of Identity Fraud, Inc., the Federal Trade Commission provides free consultations and provides direction to victims. Also, States have different laws that help victims, for example, how many credit reports victims may obtain for free. Generally, the most important immediate steps to take as a victim include:
- Notifying financial institutions of lost or stolen account information
- Placing fraud alerts on credit files
- Notifying police
Depending on the complexity of identity fraud, victims may experience a quick resolution or it may take several years.
Core Identity Protection
Who is Identity Fraud, Inc.?
Identity Fraud, Inc. (IFI) is a pioneer in the development and provision of identity protecion solutions and cyber insurance solutions, which product development efforts started in 1997. Today, IFI provides a variety of identity related solutions to protect individuals and businesses against identity crimes and data theft. We all must protect ourselves against many types of risk and now must add identity theft and information theft to that list.
Why do I need identity protection?
Identity protection is becoming increasingly important as identity theft continues to soar and as identity thieves become more sophisticated. Identity theft is the fastest growing white-collar crime in America. Javelin Strategy and Research reports indicate that nearly 10 million people are victimized each year, with a total fraud amounting to roughly $50 billion. Victims of identity theft will often spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in clearing their good name.
It's important to remember that your identity is a valuable asset that deserves special protection, just like your home, autos, health and other assets. Having identity protection will help protect you against loss and help save you valuable time, money and frustration.
What is VRS Elite™?
Unlimited Toll-Free Access (24/7)
Dedicated VRS Elite™ Case Specialist(s)
Case File Creation
Case File Monitoring
Limited Power of Attorney (Optional)
Elite Action to Stop Fraud
Verbal and Written Credit Bureau Fraud Alerts
Triple-Bureau Credit Report & Evaluation
Credit Report Monitoring - One Year Activation
Personal Records Monitoring - One Year Activation
IFI Supplemental Police Report
Identity Insurance Claim Support
Case Follow-Up - Two Year
Education, Newsletters and more
Why do I need identity insurance?
In the event you become a victim of identity fraud, you may incur expenses in the battle to regain your good name. In some cases, the level of sophistication required to clear your good name and regain your identity will require the assistance of a professional Attorney. Having resources that are able to support your efforts and financial and emotional well being is an essential element of your protection. Remember, your identity is an asset that deserves protection. Not all identity insurance is created equal. With Identity Fraud, Inc. identity insurance, you likely have better protection than other standard identity coverage, which is critical in the event of loss.