Identity theft is by far the fastest growing white collar crime taking place in the United States, according to statistics from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Every year, millions of individuals become victims of this crime without even knowing that there was an issue until years later. As a result, the thieves may have a long window to take advantage of your good financial standing, make a host of purchases in your name and essentially rob you of a good credit score.
While some financial analysts will argue against identity theft protection services, as anyone who has been a victim will tell you, cleaning up the mess is extremely difficult without a little help. Worst of all, as many experts agree, it’s not so much a matter of if identity theft will happen to you so much as when and how severe the crime will be.
“To this day, I don’t really know what happened. I suspect, someone got a hold of a piece of paper from my garbage, a piece of mail with my name, my address, my social on it, something like that,” Washington, D.C., resident Julie Herron told her local CBS affiliate. She said that there were three hard inquiries made into her credit report to evaluate her for a credit card that she never requested.
One of the inquiries successfully qualified a thief for an $1,800 line of credit that they used to purchase computer and never paid off, leaving Herron to foot the bill.
Identity theft protection services can assist you by alerting you whenever there is a suspicious hard inquiry made into your account so that you can take steps to stop identity theft and alleviate the damage as soon as possible.