Due to the stress of work, family and household responsibilities, many Americans choose to allow their day-in, day-out activities to distract them from keeping a close eye their finances. And while it may be hard to convince yourself to check your credit before bed after a long day of work, performing this action every so often can help consumers avoid the kind of financial scams and frauds that could prove far more time consuming.
Still, others adopt the stance that they are unlikely to be the victim of identity theft, believing that they will pass under the radar of criminals. Others don't feel that they will be protected by the legal system in the event that they are victimized.
However, there are many reasons why performing the financial due diligence to help you avoid identity theft should be more important to you:
- Law enforcement agencies won't come to the rescue: Since identity theft cases can be difficult to prosecute and trace, many local agencies don't put the manpower into finding the perpetrators of these crimes.
- Businesses can leave your information vulnerable: With advances in analytics, big businesses are collecting more customer data than ever before. However, they are also increasingly falling victim to data breaches that can leave you with damage to your credit score* should the information fall into the wrong hands.
- Identity theft can affect anyone: Reports have noted that children as young as few weeks old and elderly citizens have become the victim of identity theft, showing that no one is safe when it comes to this type of financial crime.
- Zero liability isn't enough: While credit card companies and banks promise financial protection from unauthorized spending and borrowing, this advantage comes with strings attached. For example, identity theft victims who don't alert these organizations to the crime in a timely fashion may have difficulty proving that they weren't in some way responsible for the financial actions performed in their name.
- Identity theft funds more criminal activity: Since identity theft is so lucrative, evidence suggests that organized criminals, terrorists and drug traffickers may be increasingly inclined to steal money from consumers in this way.