The Identity Theft Epidemic - What It Is and What You Can Do

You've heard the buzz word. You've seen the commercials and heard the news reports. Identity theft is on the rise and has been characterized by the FBI as the fastest-growing crime in America. So you know it's a problem, but do you really know what identity theft is?

The quick answer is that identity theft is a fraudulent usage of someone else's personal information, without his or her knowledge. The details, however, are far more frightening. Identity thieves can cause extensive damage to your reputation and finances; damage that may take years and hundreds of hours to rectify by yourself.

Most people are aware of the most common type of identity theft, in which thieves take advantage of your good credit and subsequently run it into the ground. The perpetrators may open credit cards using your personal information, make purchases and loans in your name, or transfer funds from your savings into different accounts. This type of fraud makes up about 20% of all identity theft cases, according to the most recent report from the FTC.

The other 80%, however, is where the real trouble lies. Identity thieves have been known to use victims' personal information to commit crimes, which then show up on the victims' background reports. Imagine being pulled over for speeding, only to discover that you have already been convicted for a crime you had nothing to do with. Also, a thief could use your personal data to obtain medical procedures in your name, which can have results far worse than financial loss. Your medical records would then show inaccurate information, which could, in turn, lead to improper care in the case of an emergency.

The debilitating damage of identity theft is preventable, but shredding your mail and keeping your social security number private are not enough to ensure your protection. In order to be fully protected, you have to monitor all of your personal records to make sure that all of the information is continually accurate and no one is acting fraudulently on your behalf. But who has the time?

ID Watchdog is a company that does all of the hard work for you. They monitor thousands of databases to check for changes in your personal information, so that you don't have to. They also take it one step further: If you happen to become a victim of identity theft while under their watch, they guarantee that they will take all of the necessary steps to clear you of the fraudulent acts. It seems like a no-brainer - enlist the services of ID Watchdog today and ensure your protection against this rising crime.

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