Saturday, February 7, 2015

Latest Scam - Identity Theft Insurance

Numerous time we have been asked, "Should I buy about Identity Theft Insurance." My answer is always "No."  It is much like "Extended Warranty."  It does very little to protect the one insured, but it does a lot to fatten the wallet of the "insurance" company.  The Anthem hack again has everyone scrambling for "ID Insurance."  While scanning the various posts about the Anthem hack I found the following very insightful note among the comments.
You suggested buying credit card insurance protection in your linkedin. That doesn't work and merely incur additional cost without real benefits. Like buying extended warranty offered by many retailers for purchased merchandise. Or buy GAP insurance during purchase of a new car. These are unnecessary options designed to add profits to the sellers.
In addition, credit card monitoring is not effective. First, the frauds must occur. The damage is already done. It is not preventive. 2nd, the frauds discovered is too late b/cos the fraudster is long gone and probably used the same info to commit more related frauds not discovered by the victims. Example banking frauds, auto frauds, etc. using the identity theft. 3rd, to detect the frauds, all the info relating to the victims must be correct or accurate and match exactly to the info in the credit card report! That's difficult!!. Example, if the fraudster use a space between the name or alter some info slightly, the frauds are NOT detected by credit monitoring. (I'm in forensic acctg, believe it or not, it's difficult to detect).

The best protection is to be proactive. Check your accts (banking, credit card transactions, credit report, insurance, etc) regularly. Use pre-set alert as tools.
We have been the victim of ID theft on several occasions and confirm these comments. For years I fought with insurance companies with no success trying to get them not to use my employee's SS# as an ID's that they plastered all over their monthly statements and invoices.  Yes, their security practices are horrible.  Likewise the security practices of about every medical office is equally bad.  With the forced computerization of medical offices we can expect more hacks like Anthem.

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