While the horror of identity theft is not something anyone wants to go through, many victims share their stories because they want to shed light on this crime and help others protect themselves from the same problems. According to a Javelin survey, the average victim of identity theft spends more than 40 hours rectifying the damage done by the thieves. These articles concerning identity theft show that sometimes it takes even longer.
The Grocery Store Thief
One man had his wallet stolen by the grocery store checker as he was leaving the supermarket. The checker was caught by the security camera charging more than $500 in groceries once he left the store but nothing was done and the wallet never turned up. A couple of months later, the bills started to arrive and he learned that more than $7,000 in credit card debt had been racked up under his name. Sadly, the local police have been uncooperative since the beginning and have actually impeded his attempts to track down the culprit. Remember, however, that many articles concerning identity theft do show the local enforcement can be very helpful.
Linda & Her Employer
Sometimes the most horrifying articles concerning identity theft remind us of how vulnerable we can be to this crime despite our best efforts to protect ourselves. Linda is a good example. Her employer stole her identity. Because employers need to have records of their social security numbers and identification, they are in a particular position that gives them easy access to the information they need to ruin us financially for years. Her boss was arrested and punished but her credit report must maintain a fraud alert for the next seven years.
Relatives & Identity Theft
When the FTC surveyed victims of identity theft, roughly 16% claimed they had known the perpetrator. Many experts suspect this number should be higher but many people are reluctant to prosecute a family member. One woman’s sister, for example, stole her credit cards, racked up huge bills, and used her sister’s identity when she committed a number of crimes. Realizing we may not be able to trust our own families may be the saddest consequence of identity theft.
When you hear these articles concerning identity theft, you probably feel a great deal of sympathy for the victims. Take more away from the story than that. Learn from what they have gone through and protect yourself.