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Protect Yourself From Becoming a Victim of Crimes You Don't Commit

February 05, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 172

As the fastest growing and one of the most insidious consumer crimes in the United States, identity theft affects nearly ten million people every year. That's about 30,000 identities stolen every day. These are alarming statistics, but even worse is that some of these identity theft victims are arrested for crimes committed in their good name.

Take, for example, a case in which an Indiana man named Jeff Goldsmith was arrested for allegedly abusing his girlfriend's six-year-old son so badly that the child had to go to the hospital. Trouble is, Goldsmith didn't have a girlfriend, let alone a six-year-old son. In fact, he had been married for twenty years and hadn't visited the city where the alleged abuse occurred in over two years. The identity thief used Goldsmith's identity to rack up charges and then subsequently commit a brutal crime-all in Goldsmith's name. After seeing Goldsmith the mother of the actual victim confirmed that he indeed was not the man who abused her son. In like so many other ID theft cases, the real criminal remains unidentified.

Looking back, Goldsmith realized that he could have avoided becoming an identity theft victim if he would have paid more attention to the warning signs. He had received a phone bill and an insurance bill for a vehicle he didn't own. After calling the companies to clear-up the charges, Goldsmith signed-up for ID theft insurance and began monitoring his credit reports more closely. Unfortunately for Goldsmith, the identity thief was able to continue to use his identity to commit fraud and elude police following the abuse allegations.

But what about the ID theft insurance? And the credit monitoring? Goldsmith found out the hard way that identity theft insurance only covers some of the expenses to deal with the aftermath of ID theft. It does nothing to prevent it. Credit monitoring, although important, only shows unauthorized charges and damages after they have occurred. So, what could Goldsmith have done to avoid becoming another ID theft victim?

He could have been more proactive. Most ID theft protection companies only monitor credit and send alerts when someone's credit is checked. Of course, this often occurs for completely legitimate reasons as well, such as when someone (using his or her real identity) applies for a loan. Credit monitoring services and ID theft insurance companies simply do not address the root of the problem-before it becomes a real problem and claims another identity theft victim.

After all, one of the problems with ID theft is that once you're a victim you're guilty until proven innocent. Police officers are simply doing their jobs when they arrest ID theft victims. But the fallout for the victims can be devastating. Studies show that it can take three to five years and more than $1,300 to restore a stolen identity.

The only real solution is to use an identity theft prevention and recovery service that proactively prevents identity theft from occurring in the first place. Entrust America, a company that was created by law enforcement professionals for law enforcement, is the only service that both prevents ID theft and guarantees to restore identity theft victims to pre-theft status.

Too many ID theft victims unknowingly put their trust in services that masquerade as ID theft prevention or, worse, do not invest in a service to protect their identity at all. As in the tragic case of Jeff Goldsmith, it's obvious how the right ID theft prevention service could have prevented his nightmare.

Don't become another identity theft victim. Learn more about protecting your identity by visiting or calling 310.831.4400.

Linda Vincent, R.N., P.I., is an identity theft, medical identity theft, and healthcare fraud prevention expert specializing in medical consulting and investigations. She is the president of The Identity Advocate, which teaches corporations, professional practices, and consumers how to stop identity theft, medical identity theft, and healthcare fraud. Visit or call 310.831.4400.

Source: EzineArticles
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