Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Longer Term Effects of ID Theft

The story below may be a great example of how identity theft can occur at any time from some unlikely sources. A person takes out a student loan and gives their personal information out. An incident like this happens and they get the obligatory "credit monitoring" service. Yet several years later they find that they have been victimized in a dozen non-credit types of crimes. They find that mysteriously their medical insurance policy is waivered due to multiple false claims made. They discover that dozens of small retail accounts have been opened purchases were made and never paid. Now they are being hounded by credit recover agencies or attorneys trying to collect on bad debt. During a routine traffic stop they find warrants have been issued because their ID was used with police after multiple traffic violations. They are arrested. Credit monitoring alone cannot help those victims. Everyone needs to be aware of the outcome of millions of ID theft cases each year that are not directly related to the credit bureaus or banks and credit cards. These far-reaching effects are much more serious and very complex issues to deal with. An ID theft victims needs the help of professionals who will advocate for them, and even represent them in righting corrupt personal file entries throughout the system.

Personal Information of 3.3 Million Stolen
A student loan firm is providing credit monitoring and protection services to some 3.3 million people affected by a data breach, the Washington Post reports. A spokesman for Educational Credit Management (ECMC), a nonprofit student loan guaranty agency headquartered in Minnesota, said portable media containing personally identifiable information was stolen in an "old-fashioned theft" from company headquarters. The stolen information included names, addresses, birth dates and Social Security numbers, but no banking information, an ECMC press release said.