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Identity Theft

Proactively protect your identity.

Most people do not realize that their identity has been stolen until they receive a bad credit report or credit card statement itemizing charges that they did not make.

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Identity Theft insurance

Identity theft insurance can be purchased as a stand-alone policy or added as an endorsement to your existing homeowners or automobile insurance coverage. Though identity theft insurance does not protect against the cost of the actual theft, it is a relatively inexpensive insurance option that reimburses for the cost of reclaiming your identity. This includes things such as:

  • Lost wages (limits and time period apply)
  • Legal fees
  • Childcare expenses
  • Notary and certified mailing charges
  • Long distance phone charges

Additionally, you’ll gain access to a fraud specialist who can assist you in restoring your good name and protecting your identity. This service accompanies reimbursement for expenses associated with credit restoration, as noted above.

The impact of identity theft.

According to studies, more than 10 million Americans are the victims of identity theft every year. Victims are unable to use existing credit cards, obtain new loans, are subject to criminal investigations, and in some cases, are arrested for crimes they did not commit as a result of identity theft.

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Tips to protect yourself beyond insurance:

  • Minimize the amount of personal information in your purse or wallet, such as your Social Security card and credit cards. Carry only what is necessary.
  • Shield yourself when using an ATM and guard your credit cards when making purchases.
  • Do not throw credit card or ATM receipts away in public trash receptacles. Shred them before throwing them away instead.
  • Do not rely on credit card companies or your bank to alert you of potential theft. Monitor your accounts regularly by checking statements to make sure that all documented transactions are justified. If you suspect a problem, contact the company or bank immediately.
  • Order a copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus. You are entitled to one free credit report per year from each. This document outlines where you work, where you live, accounts opened in your name, how you pay your bills and more. Inspect these documents closely to uncover any indiscretions or activities that you did not authorize.
  • Place passwords on your accounts and credit cards. Do not use easily obtainable information such as your mother’s maiden name or your birth date.
  • Do not give out your personal information to parties you do not know.

Contact a member of the Marshall & Sterling team today to learn more about how we can help you protect your good name.

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