The flashing lights in your rearview mirror are your only warning. You are not speeding. Your license plate has not expired. Did someone die? The police are pulling you over and you don’t know why. The officer tells you why you are being arrested and reads you your rights. However, you did not commit a crime. The other you did… the one that stole your identity. According to the US Department of Justice, 4% of identity theft victims become the subject of a criminal investigation. The thieves are not just using your identity to obtain credit, buy a car, get a job or rent an apartment, they are often assuming your identity and then committing serious, event violent crimes in your name.
For those who know what they are doing, stealing a consumer’s identity is easy:get a copy of a credit card statement from a mailbox, check the little “Change of Address” box to redirect future statements, build additional credit using the new name and address, and obtain a new driver’s license using the assumed identity. Committing financial crimes in your name can be a devastating and costly issue. But when the criminal pulls out your drivers’ license with his photo on it when arrested for a violent offense and then disappears while waiting for his court date, the stakes clearly change. Law enforcement agencies maintain criminal databases and if you, or the assumed you, are wanted for a crime committed in your name you can be arrested. Police may be on the lookout for your license plate number and employers may check these databases when doing a routine background check or when considering hiring you for a position.
If you are arrested, it can take a ton of work to get things sorted out. The easiest way to avoid criminal activity being committed using your identity is to consistently monitor the use of your name and address. But no monitoring can stop everything… creative thieves are often one-step ahead of the authorities and are constantly developing new ways to obtain your personal information. With criminal monitoring, we can help you catch the unauthorized use of your personal information before your identity is actually assumed. We may also be able to help you learn about criminal misuse while there is still time to get things fixed before you end up accused of something you didn’t do. A small bit of prevention can keep your name off the law enforcement radar and help you avoid the paralyzing effects it can cause. The potential cost of someone assuming your identity is not worth the risk.