Identity theft is a problem that is common enough that it should be expected and prepared for. While many people may think that they are not at risk for identity theft, due to either bad credit, low funds or bad benefits, a stolen identity is often used not to purchase anything but instead to remove a criminal history, make a fake tax report or gain citizenship. Common targets include millennials, elderly family members or young children. While identity theft is an issue for everyone, members of Financial Education Benefits Center, a membership benefits company, have access to an identity theft protection resource that is intended to increase their security.
“The threat of identity theft is getting worse every year,” said Jennifer Martinez, manager at FEBC. “It is important for everyone to have some method of identity protection, as it looks like identity theft is getting more prevalent and more creative.”
While millennials, the elderly and children are the most common targets, it is possible that an information breach will lead to an identity theft attempt at any time. Since the Russian internet gang CyberVor may have infiltrated Adobe, Yahoo, Google and other sites in 2014, amassing 4.5 billion records, many of them passwords, it may be safe to assume that many accounts are already compromised but haven’t been accessed yet. If a person’s accounts haven’t been used, it may be because the most common targets earn $75,000 yearly with a good credit rating and benefits that can be exploited with their identity. The identity thieves may actually be waiting for someone’s life situation to improve before making an attack on their identity.
It is possible to freeze one’s credit report when they are not using it to prevent future attempts to use a stolen identity. FEBC encourages its members to use the identity theft protection benefit available to them in their membership. The benefit features professional credit monitoring and access to experts who keep up with trends in the hacking world to keep their members safe and inform their members about what steps to take if they notice unusual activity.
“It feels like the online world is getting a little more risky,” notes Martinez. “With our benefit, our members can feel safer knowing that there is someone helping them in case the worst should happen.”