The expenses of identity theft can add up very quickly, making the small monthly premium a worthwhile investment.
Even as we have become more conscientious of protecting our private information, the problem of identity theft continues to grow. Criminals have become more sophisticated in the methods they employ to gain access to our personal and financial information, and more aspects of our lives have been taken over by the convenience of electronic communication. Commerce, banking, and other vulnerable points have increased as well, so identity theft is a problem that is unlikely to go away any time soon.
There are many ways that criminals can gain access to your information and this list is by no means all-inclusive, but it will give you a few points to consider.
Fake IDs are a common, low tech way for criminals to access your bank account. If they have your address and know where you bank, it is not difficult to have an ID made and simply walk in pretending to be you and make a withdrawal. Be careful where you leave anything that has your address or other information on it. Magazines left in public are a common source.
Phishing emails Phishing is another popular ploy, sending fake messages to try and gain information usually asking for your credit card or bank account details.
Trolling is another popular technique used. Watch for people who appear to be using a cell phone behind you in line. They may actually be recording your card and PIN number for later use.
Corporate security breaches are becoming more common and are increasingly a source for concern. Many companies, where you do business, store more information on you than you realize.
Identity theft insurance – worth it or not?
In spite of all of these schemes and many more out there, there is debate among various ‘experts’ on how they perceive the value of identity theft insurance.
Those that don’t see the value of identity theft insurance are quick to point out that, unlike in many other countries, Canadian banks will usually reimburse customer accounts if they can prove they are a victim of fraud and that even at just $20 dollars a month the extra premium on your homeowners insurance will add up.
Others argue that they fail to take into account the other costs of identity theft, which involve more than just the funds taken from your account or charges made on your cards. There are administrative fees, legal fees, postage, time off work, and other expenses that can add up very quickly and make that small monthly premium seem more than a worthwhile investment.