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By Randy KemnitzInsurance Subject Matter ExpertKaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education
"But he that filches from me my good name / Robs me of that which not enriches him / And makes me poor indeed."
–Shakespeare, Othello, act iii. Sc. 3
This quote opens the 2015 U.S. Department of
Justice (DOJ) discussion about identity theft. No doubt identity theft makes us
poor indeed. The impact of identity theft is enormous—almost 17 million U.S. victims
in 2013 alone with financial losses of almost $28 billion. Yes, that is
billion, not million.
Identity theft takes many forms:
With this in mind, the question is what to do.
Start with your homeowners insurance carrier.
Yes, your homeowners insurance. Most homeowner insurers now provide some
coverage for identity theft. Often this coverage is automatically included, but
in some cases it must be added by endorsement. The limits range up to $1
million with premiums starting around $25 annually. Typically, this coverage
provides the following.
Or, you can do it yourself. If you think
you’ve become a victim of identity theft, contact the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) to report the situation, whether online, by phone, or by mail. Under the
Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, the FTC is responsible for
receiving and processing complaints from people who believe they may be victims
of identity theft, providing informational materials to those people, and
referring those complaints to appropriate entities, including the major credit
reporting agencies and law enforcement agencies.
You may also want to contact other entities
including, but not limited to, the following:
Remember: “Information is power.” Be sure to know what steps to take, so that power isn’t
fueled by your information.
Interested in this career? Check out Kaplan University's business resources here.
J., Givens, B. & Mierzwinski, E. 2015. Nowhere to turn: Victims speak out on identity
theft - a survey of identity theft victims and recommendations for reform. Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. Retrieved
Inc. Retrieved from: http://www.lifelock.com/education/understanding-identity-theft/types-identity-theft/
States Department of Justice, 2015. What are identity theft and identity fraud?
Retrieved from: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html
Randy Kemnitz is an Insurance Subject Matter Expert at Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of Kaplan University. Consult your advisor before making investment decisions.
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