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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection | article

Even at the Top of Your Game, Identity Fraud Can Bring You Back to the Bottom

To become self-made, it’s a long, uphill battle to actually make money doing what you want. Starting your own company from scratch isn’t easy, and when your business actually turns a profit, you can generally breathe easy knowing that you did something right.

This day had come for Adam Josephson, who had at long last successfully profited in 2007 from an online start-up company he created from the ground up. However, despite Adam’s success in building his own money-making small business, he wasn’t able to protect himself from identity theft.

Just when things seemed to be looking up, bad news came calling
Not long after bringing his company into the black, Adam received a phone call from a fraud detection specialist involved with a multi-national credit card agency. Instead of congratulating Adam on his success and offering him a new line of credit, the call was in regards to suspicious activity under Adam’s name that led the credit company to believe Adam’s identity had been stolen.

Without even realizing it, you could be handing important information over to identity thieves
The specialist who called Adam was able to detail how exactly he had gotten his identity stolen and how his personal information was compromised to begin with. It turns out that somehow, Adam’s name and information was bought legally off of a list. Every time you give out personal information, whether renewing your insurance or subscribing to a magazine, the company who you provide these details to can sell that information to a for-profit listing service. After that, identity thieves can buy the information you put out into the world from this listing service for anywhere between 20 cents to $20.

Justice may be served, but you’ll still face an uphill battle back to the top
The credit card company worked with Adam for months to track down the thief and eventually put someone behind bars for the crime. However, Adam’s information was still out there, and the thief had left Adam with more than $500,000 in unpaid debt that he had to fight against paying, as well as a tarnished credit score.

Had Adam been as smart about credit monitoring as he had been about building his online start-up, he may have been able to avoid much of the damage identity thieves did to his credit report. If he had caught the strange activity going on in his name, he could’ve taken action earlier and be able to enjoy his hard-won success.