Regular readers of the HV Shred blog know we consider the Identity Theft Resource Center a valuable source of helpful information regarding best practices to avoid identity theft.
In the latest installment, we borrow from their recent “myth vs. fact” post.
Myth: “No one would want my identity because my credit is terrible.”
Fact: Yes they do. We cannot tell you how many times we hear people say your credit score matters only slightly to an identity thief. Not only can thieves obtain funds via non-traditional methods, such as payday loans, but financial identity theft is only one type of the crime. Thieves can use your identity to get medical services, avoid criminal charges and receive government benefits. None of those scenarios has anything to do with your credit score.
Fact: Parents whose children have become victims of identity theft will often ask how it is possible that someone used a child’s personal information to obtain goods or services that a child would not need or want. The truth is that if an identity thief goes in and buys a car using a 5-year- old’s SSN, most likely the car dealership and the financing institution will not know that the SSN belongs to a child. When a credit report is run, especially if it is blank like a child’s credit report would be, the age and sex of the information’s true holder will not be evident. This is why thieves find children such desirable targets when stealing identities. Not only will the crime not be discovered until the child needs their credit, but the record will be blank and ready for new credit.
For more on identity theft protection, please visit www.hvshred.com