4 common ID theft scams to watch out for
Identity theft continues to plague Americans every year. In 2018, 14.4 million consumers became victims. This costs them dearly in terms of time and money to repair the damage done to their bank accounts and credit. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are becoming savvier in their attempts to trick people into giving up personal information to them so they can commit identity theft. Here are four common ID theft scams to watch out for:
1. Medical identity theft
This type of theft occurs when an ID thief uses another person’s name, Social Security number, health insurance information, or other personal information to seek medical treatment, file an insurance claim, or get prescription drugs. Medical ID theft is a problem on the uptick. AARP points to a Federal Trade Commission statistic indicating medical identity theft has increased a whopping 103%. This type of identity theft is hard to recover from because, unlike credit card theft where consumer liability is limited to $50, there aren’t any restrictions on how much a consumer is liable for when it comes to medical ID theft.
2. Child ID theft
A 2018 Javelin Strategy & Research report found more than one million children became ID theft victims in 2017. Children are highly vulnerable to ID theft because they aren’t actively using credit. Identity thieves take advantage of this window of time because they can get a lot of mileage out of a child’s identity before they are caught. Learn all you can about how child ID theft can be committed and how to take steps to prevent a child’s identity from being misused.
3. Tax-related ID theft
Tax-related ID fraud is a persistent problem for consumers. What happens is identity thieves use someone’s Social Security number to file a fraudulent tax return. Their intention is to either collect the victim’s tax refund or use their SSN to obtain a job and file their own return come tax season. Victims typically don’t realize they’ve been exploited until they try to file their own tax returns.
4. Job scams
Job scams have been around a long time, but the statistics associated with them tend to spike higher during times of increased unemployment. Scammers will exploit job search sites, Craigslist, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, to name a few to lure unsuspecting victims. Be careful of “employers” who hire you too quickly, ask you to wire money, request credit card information, or request you to pay for your credit report as a part of the application process. Being it’s unclear what the economy will look like once the current COVID-19 threat passes if unemployment rates increase, chances are ID thieves will be increasingly lurking in the shadows trying to exploit job seekers with these scams.
Victims of ID theft find it hard to gain access to credit, obtain employment, or find a place to live. If you’ve suffered the consequences associated with ID theft, it can take a long time to recover and set things right again. If you’d like to learn more about how PRBC can help you re-establish your good credit standing, contact us today. We’re here to help.