The fact about identity theft is that it doesn’t matter what you do to protect yourself against it, you will not keep the identity thieves from getting your personal information. You can shred every single piece of paper that enters your home, have government software protection on your computer, never use a credit card, never carry your social security card around, never give out your social security number to anyone, never have a universitycafe bank account or library card, never apply for a job, never purchase a car or home, never rent a home or apartment and the list goes on and you can still be a victim of identity theft. Why? because it’s too late and you have already given this information out.
Realistically, who can live like this? Face it, you have a social number and birth certificate, you have rented or own a home and the vast majority own credit cards.
The media and the so called experts want to have you believe you can keep yourself from becoming a victim and if you can’t there are services that can. Here’s the question to ask yourself. Can the so called top three protection services keep major corporations or even the Government from having their clients or citizens information compromised?
How about these startling facts of stolen victims information from the Privacy Rights Clearing House.
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs on May 3rd 2006, veterans who were discharged since 1975 including names Social numbers, dates of births and in many cases phone numbers and addresses. Theft of a laptop 26.5 million veterans. I know I received my letter from the V.A.
May 2, 2006, Time Warner 600,00 lost backup tapes. Ameritrade, 200,000 lost backup tapes. Cal Poly-Pomona, Univ. of Colorado, Sonoma State Univ., Univ of Utah, Univ of North Texas, Calif. State Univ., all hacking and thousands of victims.
The list goes on from school districts, Major Banking Institutions, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Hospitals, CPA’s, States, Townships, Medical facilities, AFLAC, Dept of Education, Census Bureau and I think you get the picture.
So lets see how these services could have helped me from being a victim when a laptop was stolen and I became part of 26.5 million veterans who also had their information compromised.
The fact is they can’t and could not have kept any of the above victims from being victimized. Identity Guard Total Protection, Life Lock, Trusted ID and Identity Guard offer prevention services but the theme of their services is financial prevention and is only 1/3 rd of the problem and they do not help you with any legal services to give you the complete restoration service you need.
Ask this question to them. If I was arrested at 2am in the morning because there were warrants for my arrest because I was a victim of criminal identity theft, what phone number could I call at 2am and how will you help me? Or what if social services were at my door threatening to take my children because they said I had a drug baby 3 weeks ago and left it at the hospital and I haven’t had a child in 4 years and I am a victim of medical ID theft. What if I’m a teacher accused of being a prostitute when in fact it was one of my previous students.
You see credit monitoring, resolution services, Id theft prevention services are all good and better than nothing but they do not cover you in these examples when you need real help.
It’s like the fire department saying they will monitor your house for you and call you if you have a fire. A great service but what about putting out the fire? What if the fire department then sent out a fire truck but you still had to put the fire out using the truck and the tools. A great service but how do I use the equipment? What if the fire department said not only will we monitor your home every day and call you if there is a fire, we will also send out a truck with the professionals to put it out for you and not only that, we will rebuild the section of your home that was damaged back to its condition before the fire took place.
I think the answer is clear on the so called top three ID theft prevention services. They say prevent but they can’t. They may slow it down but they are unable to prevent you from being a victim. Prevention is better than nothing but if it was your spouse or child in jail how could they help you?
The complete wall of protection is Monitor, Restore and Legal. Having access to a system that in the event you were arrested or your spouse or child, you would want to talk to an attorney now! Whether it was 2am or Christmas morning, you want an expert to begin the researching for all the applicable data bases out there to return your good name and keep monitoring them for you.
There is only one company that can do that. Do you think if you were like the woman that had 81 people in over 17 states using her social number for jobs and having the IRS asking for 1 million dollars in unclaimed taxes you might want an attorney. Most attorneys only practice in the State they are licensed in. Do you think she would need an attorney in those 17 States? There is only one company in the US to offer the services that woman would need. The service is Pre-Paid Legal Services and the Identity Theft Shield. They are the only company to offer the type of services to give you a whole wall or complete wall of protection.
J.M. Smith is a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist (CITRMS) and has been featured on HOM-TV Ch.21 an award winning local network channel. Mr. Smith is available for consultation or seminar