The New Identity Theft: Millions of Credit Applicants Who Don’t Exist
- The Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2018
Three Arrests in Houston ID Theft Ring Involving 300 Victims
- US News and World Report, February 28, 2018
Identity theft makes headlines - and alarming ones at that. Many equate identity theft with a stolen credit card - but there is more to a stolen identity than unauthorized charges. Be aware of these types of fraudulent activity, all classified as identity theft:
Financial: One of the most familiar ways a person’s identity may be stolen, financial identity theft includes account takeovers, accounts opened in your name, and unauthorized account activity.
Medical: According to Forbes magazine, your social security number is worth about 10 cents on the black market. Your credit card number is worth about 25 cents. But your electronic health record (EHR) is worth hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars. In 2016, 450 breaches occurred, leaving 27 million EHRs vulnerable. Thieves may use your name or health insurance details to obtain prescription drugs, submit claims, or get medical care. This may ultimately incur charges for which you may be responsible, and may affect your credit report.
Employment-Related: If a thief uses your social security number to gain employment, the thief’s employer will report wages to the IRS. When you file your tax return, the IRS will discover duplicate wages, and you may become subject to an audit or other tax penalties in order to correct the tax records.
Tax-Related: A thief may use your social security number to file a tax return and collect your tax refund before you file. This means that when you do file your return, the IRS will reject your filing as a duplicate, leaving you without your refund.
Social Media-Related: Deceptive software and tricky scams abound online. It is all too easy for hackers and identity thieves to skim personal information you may have placed on social media, or mistakenly given out over email. Even discerning computer users have fallen victim, leaving them with empty pockets and a great deal of stress. In 2016, more than 33,000 Texans were victims of identity theft. Once victimized, they may spend anywhere from several hours to many weeks in resolving the frustrating and stressful issues that identity theft creates.
TMA Insurance Trust understands that physicians like you do not have the time to deal with the hassles of identity theft. That is why we are working with New Benefits, a Dallas-based company to provide ID Sanctuary Premium to our members. This service monitors a full range of credit and non-credit information often used to commit fraud. As a member of this service, you will receive:
• Complimentary monitoring of public and private databases, social media channels, and the Internet black market for the presence and possible misuse of your identity and credit data,
• Unlimited 24/7 assistance if you are ever a victim of identity theft or fraud,
• Assistance with replacing important documents that are lost, stolen, or destroyed, including: Social Security cards, birth certificates, passports and driver’s licenses,
• Alerts about any credit inquiry activity for your accounts,
• Credit report, credit score and monitoring,
• Educational resources to protect against identity theft,
• Membership for you and up to four legal dependents 18 and over.
Now, through TMA Insurance Trust the peace of mind that comes from having identity theft protection has never been so affordable. Click Here to find out more about this package of helpful benefits that includes ID theft, roadside assistance, and global travel assistance. Reach out now to protect yourself.