Identity theft...do not ignore this threat

Identity theft is an issue that touches about 15 million Americans every year resulting in losses of over $16 billion….

If it does happen to you… Just go back to the last time you spent an hour on the phone talking to someone about your cable TV not working, insurance claim, etc.… Multiply those experiences by 10  to 100 and you will have an idea of how much time you will be forced to spend if you are one of those 15 million people.

Doesn’t sound like a lot of fun does it.

This number has increased every year and has no signs of slowing down… Computer hackers are getting smarter and our efforts to stop cybercrime are not keeping pace with the ingenious ways these hackers are stealing our vital information.


Why identity theft is so pervasive

Let’s look at it from a pragmatic view and as usually the case… Let’s follow the money.

It takes highly skilled and intelligent personnel to catch these people… In other words it takes a thief to catch a thief.

If you were a hacker that had the ability to literally take millions of dollars away from people like you and I from the comfort of their own home... Would you go to work for an anti-cybercrime firm? 

Let’s pick a number… Say $300,000 a year salary that a person with hacker skills could make working for a security firm. Let’s compare that to the millions of dollars he or she might be able to make on your own

What are the risks and benefits to a hacker?

  • One, you have to pay taxes on your $300,000 salary
  • Two, the penalty for cybercrime …which is considered a white-collar crime… is certainly not commensurate with the rewards that you could make as your own hacker.
  • Three, if you are actually caught… The knowledge that you possess is certainly of value to government agencies that are subject to cyber-attacks, they cut you a deal if you work for them…sure beats jail

For instance in the last few years even the IRS database has been hacked, not to mention FDIC insurance companies… The list goes on and on.

If you analyze the risk reward it makes more sense for the hacker to take the easy money here she can make on their own versus going to work or being forced to work for a security company or the government.


Ways which you can be vulnerable to identity theft

Every time you go to a restaurant and pay for your meal with a credit card that credit card is out of your sight from the time you give it to your server until you receive your bill… Restaurants are great place for hackers to pick up the information that’s on your magnetic strip in your credit card.

Restaurants are just one example, any time you hand over your credit card to pay for something… And who wants to carry around wads of cash these days… You are vulnerable to have that information stolen.

Doing something as innocent as filling out forms before you see a doctor often requires you to give your Social Security number your date of birth address phone number etc.

That makes it awfully easy for someone in the doctor’s office to make a copy and pass the information along to a potential hacker

Remember you want the police to be out there protecting you from a mugging or harm to your person rather than checking out cybercrime… You are pretty much on your own when it comes to keeping your identity safe.


What you can do to prevent identity theft

When you get a new credit card, don’t sign it just put the words see ID on the signature line… That requires the merchant to ask for your driver’s license or some other means of identification… I do this myself and they ask for my ID less than half the time

Never give too much information over the phone… If you are suspicious that somebody is asking too many questions hang up, see what number appears on your current or caller ID and call it back

Take your restaurant bill to the cashier and fill it out in front of him or her, you are still vulnerable, but at least you’re looking at the card

This is a company I recommend that you consider for helping you protect your identity from identity theft.… We are forced to have car insurance and we should have the discipline to ensure ourselves from financial loss from identity thieves as you would want to have when you get in a car accident.