Identity theft victims suffer an emotional toll too


Identity theft is a crime.  People who are the victims of crime often have a mental reaction to that crime.  Identity theft is no different.  Identity theft victims are put through all sorts of stressful situations.

Imagine finding out you do not have the money to pay your rent or mortgage, going to jail and spending the night in a cell for something you did not do.  Going to the hospital for treatment and finding out your insurance is exhausted.  Identity theft victims face all of these situations on a regular basis.

Indentity theft can be a source of great emotional trauma, especially when you clear up one thing only to find that there is yet another problem to be dealt with and having that happen over and over again over a period of weeks or even years.  That is the emotional toll an identity theft victim can face.

Because identity theft is not a violent crime, victims can often find that their issues are overlooked or that others around them expect them to simply ‘suck it up’.  People who have never experienced it don’t understand that the victim’s  sense of violation is just as real as the mugging victim.

The Identity Theft Resource Center has put together a guide for Identity theft victims to help in overcoming the emotional impact.  The fact sheet can be found here.

One way to ease a bit of the stress is to be prepared and have help available that you can turn to before you become a victim.  Having something that will kick in and take a bit of the burden off of your shoulders.  This is one area where LegalShield can help.  Through the Identity Theft Shield you have investigators that will work with you to restore your identity.

Here’s a new hit song for identity thieves!


This song is blowing up the Top Ten on the Identity Identity Theft Hit Parade!  Da Dumpster Dive!  These guys may be diving in for old Kool Aid and Bagels, but Identity thieves dive in for a different reason.

By now most of us are understanding the need to shred our old personal documents.  An in home shredder is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity.  And we know that it needs to be DOD Approved and not a ribbon shredder.  Ribbon shredders just create jigsaw puzzles for identity thieves, strips can be pieced back together to harvest information.  With individual getting more savvy about the destruction of information, your home trash is much less attractive to identity thieves than this item.

Why are dumpsters so attractive to identity thieves?  Well you always find dumpsters near businesses.  Businesses gather all sorts of personal information from their clients and customers.   Names, addresses, phone numbers, account numbers and the list goes on.  And businesses do not always follow the law when it comes to disposal on this information.

It is a fairly common event to turn on your local news to see a report about files dumped in dumpsters.   Honest people come across these files and report it to news reporters, police or others and it ends up on your evening news.  For every honest person that reports the situation, how many dishonest people are taking the information for nefarious purposes.

Personal information found in dumpsters is a gold mine.  The thief does not have to use you information personally.  There is a huge black market out there for personal information and the thieves know this.  They can make a fortune selling what they find in these dumpsters.

If a business you have dealt with improperly disposes of your personal information in a dumpster, and a thief gets his hands on it; well that information can be sold as many times as the thief wants.  Multiple people can buy and use your information.  This is why it is important to have a plan, to be able to react quickly and at any time to respond to identity theft issues.

You’re Repo’ing my car? But I’m only 4 years old!


As parents, the safety of our little ones is important.  We put time and effort into teaching them how to be safe.  For example “Don’t talk to strangers.”  We don’t teach them to protect their identities.  We don’t even consider them at risk for the most part.

Most of us still consider Identity Theft a financial issue.  It’s all about our credit cards and bank accounts.  And our kids don’t have credit cards.  And usually a parent or trusted adult is listed on that bank account so our children won’t become a victim.

Actually our children are prime targets for identity theft.  I didn’t get a social security number until I was 8 years old.  I wouldn’t have gotten it then, but my mother applied for mine when she applied for my older brother’s just to get it out of the way.  Now our newborns are often coming home from the hospital with Social Security numbers already assigned to them.

A child has something very valuable to Identity thieves-Clean Credit.  They also don’t use that credit so a thief has years and years to use the child’s information with almost no risk of discovery.  Child identity theft victims may not find out until they apply for a driver’s license or for college financial aid.  The activities of an Identity thief can ruin the life of a childhood victim.

As parents we need to be aware of the risk to our children and we need to teach our children about protecting their identity.  Make the protection of Personally Identifying Information a family issue.  Have children help with shredding documents.   To get them in the habit, let them shred some of their old school papers.  Always check junk mail for credit card or other offers of credit in your child’s name.  Consider enrolling your child some form of Identity theft protection designed for children, like Safeguard for Minors.

The important thing is to teach them to be aware and protect their identities.