Written by Alayna PehrsonAlayna is currently a Digital Marketing Strategist at Best Company. She graduated in communications with an emphasis in journalism. Her interests include motorcycles, guns, and Japanese culture.
This is part one of a two part identity theft series.
Identity theft can take several forms and has sparked fear in millions of people. One of the most terrifying aspects of identity theft is the fact that there is no way to guarantee you won't become a victim. There are, however, steps and precautions you can take to lessen your risk of identity theft. Here are two real stories of identity theft told by the victims themselves:
Veonne A.: "It was the scariest, most inconvenient thing to happen to us. . ."
"My husband and I experienced identity theft at a Starbucks coffee shop. My husband was on a lunch break and left his wallet sitting on a table after going to get his coffee and left out to return to work. The wallet had both of our licenses, debit cards, and social security cards in them. The person who stole our identities went to buy liquor (it was New Year's Eve), went to go apply for credit cards, and tried to use my husband's transit card. When we reported it to Target (where he tried to open a credit card account online) they saw it was fraud, but the police did nothing about it. It was the scariest, most inconvenient thing to happen to us because we just had a baby 30 days before it happened.
We found out when my husband got a Chase bank alert of alcohol being purchased through his transaction text message alerts. Then, we eventually checked our emails some weeks later on Credit Karma and saw that they tried to open credit card accounts online. We tried to fix the issue by filing a police report, but they did nothing when we got information from Target which reported that it was identity theft. We just put a hold on our SS numbers.
Sheri B.: "Now, I understand your identity can be stolen just from people having your data. . ."
The future of identity theft
Veonne and Sheri's stories, although tragic, are not uncommon. Identity theft has been a major threat for years and will only continue to increase as technology advances. The future of identity theft depends on the average person's ability to mitigate their risks. As identity theft becomes more complex, so do the precautions we need to take to stay one step ahead of the game. You can research the types of identity theft, identity theft protection companies, recent data breaches and identity theft-related news, and steps to take to avoid becoming a victim. Make sure to check out part two of this article series for additional identity theft victim stories and tips.