My ID theft update & reminders that can make or break an ID theft situation:
Bottom Line: For years I've advocated on behalf of obtaining ID theft protection service. I've had alerts notify me on a couple of occasions with regard to personal information that had been used by someone else attempting to do something in my name (like trying to use a line of credit of mine) but until yesterday I hadn't been posed with a situation in which someone had all of the important elements to commit full fledged ID theft. Someone was able to obtain my name, address, Social Security number, birthday, employer and past addresses. While there's still a lot to monitor and account for - my ID protection service saved a bad situation from becoming potentially catastrophe.
The thief was initially attempting to open lines of credit online with my information late Monday night. Overnight, within a couple of hours, I was alerted by my service. This allowed me to take immediate action before the business day got going yesterday and stopped any activity in it's tracks. The timing was critical and allowed me to take all needed action with the credit agencies, the FTC, companies involved and filing of the police report.
I've said this before and I mean it now as much as ever. When you consider how much you pay for various insurance products in your life, about $100 per year for ID protection is a no-brainier. My example is the reason why. Hopefully you're never a victim of ID theft but if you are timing is everything. If you don't know that you've been victimized until you get new loan statements in the mail or your accounts have been cleaned out - you're faced with a devastating circumstance. If you can react immediately, you've got a great chance of cutting it off at the pass as I was thankfully able to do.
According to the DOJ the average loss to a victim of actual ID theft (not stolen credit numbers or the like) is $1343 out of pocket - let alone the stress and mess of attempting to reclaim your ID. Thankfully my out-of-pocket cost for successful ID theft against me is $0. That $1343 is about 13 years worth of protection. Well worth it.