Identity Theft: Inside the Mind of an Identity Thief

Identity ThiefIdentity theft – we are becoming more vulnerable every day! The 2013 movie, Identity Thief, may have drawn laughs from movie goers as Diana lives the Miami high life, using the stolen ID of a Colorado accounts rep. Joviality aside – the victim in the story, Sandy Bigelow Patterson, jumps through hoops to confront the woman who has taken over his life; the story revealing just how easy it is to be a target – and just how difficult it is to reclaim your identity.  Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman could probably tell us a thing or two they learned in making the film!  But for now, let’s take a look inside the mind of an identity thief.

Being inside the mind of an identity thief is not a place I would want you to reside; however, in being an advocate for my clients, I take seriously the task of contributing to your awareness of the responsibility you play in whether your identity remains safe, even if it means we have to take a short walk on the darker paths of life.

For example, you’ve got a secret admirer, and he thinks you’re unique. But that’s not a good thing: Your secret admirer is an identity thief, and he (or she) wants your identity. Like many of us, you probably believe you are unique – that your identity is yours alone. Unfortunately, there are nine million Americans who believed the same thing – until they met an identity thief.

Even if you think you’re a savvy individual, who takes all the right precautions to avoid having your identity stolen, you’ll probably be surprised that you, like most of us, may actually be making it easier for these criminals. Here’s our identity thief to explain how:

Status update: Social media makes my job easier

Ever since social media has taken off, my job has gotten much easier. (Thanks for accepting my friend request, by the way. I guess you saw we had some mutual friends and figured we must have met.)

I couldn’t hit the “Like” button enough to express my gratitude to social media users’ status updates and tweets. Thank you for sharing every moment of your life, especially big ones like weddings, birthdays, and vacations.

I love it when you share photos while vacationing in Hawaii. A few months ago I got your address from your profile, and was on standby to go through your garbage as soon as you left for vacation. You really should shred that information before you throw it out, you know. My colleagues and I don’t mind getting a bit dirty for all the money we’ll collect providing people with false identities.

Oh, and even if your address isn’t on your profile, it’s likely to come up on some site or other. It’ll just take a little extra digging. But wait … you put your phone number on your Facebook profile. I’ll just Google it and find your address that way.

Your birthday is on your profile, too and so is your anniversary. And did you know the names of family members’ are among the most frequently used answers to security questions? Oh, and thanks for providing those significant dates? Well, they make good – that is, easy to crack – PIN numbers. Oh, and thanks for paying for your Hawaiian trip on your credit card.

Smartphones

Smartphones are aptly named – they’re incredibly smart, bursting with information about you. They’re basically tiny computers, but for some reason, nobody ever installs antivirus software or enables password protection. Not that they would stop me, but it does make things easier for me when you don’t have them. That’s why smartphone users are one-third more likely to have their identities stolen.

Your bank app is on there, important anniversaries and dates, apps for your favorite stores with your credit card info stored for convenient one-touch purchasing, emails and more. What really makes my day, though, is when you use the fake wireless hotspot I created at your favorite coffee place. Great … A cappuccino and an easy hack into your phone!

Congratulations: It’s a Boy/Girl!

And a new identity for me! There’s nothing like a newborn baby’s social security number. And please do give everyone that number: The doctor’s office, the tax man, government programs – just about everyone wants it. Especially me. There’s so much I can do with it. It’s likely your child won’t have his or her credit report pulled until 18 years from now; in fact, children shouldn’t have credit reports. But if by any chance yours does, that means I’ve already opened up a line of credit in the child’s name.

It’s like stealing candy from a baby …

It breaks my heart to have introduced you to an Identity Thief! I would much prefer people who acquire amazing skills would put them to good use; unfortunately, far too many do not.  In addition to having the ability to sell and service numerous insurance products I am also a Director for Legal Shield Identity Theft Products. Everyone should have Identity Theft coverage which will basically monitor your credit file every day for changes that may indicate potential Identity Theft and notify you accordingly. If you’ve been compromised Legal Shield Identity Theft through Kroll Background America will work to completely restore the numerous ways you’ve been compromised. To try to do this on your own would take hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours. To find out more about this Identity Theft service my website address is: www.janvitale.legalshieldassociate.com

Making MORE happen for my insurance clients…

Jan Vitale

Arizona Independent Insurance Agent
Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years
http://www.lifetimeinvestmentsllc.com/
JanVitale@lifetimeinvestmentsllc.com
http://www.JanVitale.legalshieldassociate.com

 

This article and any information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publisher will not be responsible for errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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Arizona New Driver’s Guide to Auto Insurance

Arizona New Driver's Guide to Auto InsuranceIf you have teen-aged drivers or are new to the state, you will benefit from the Arizona New Driver’s Guide to Auto Insurance created by the Arizona Department of Insurance, Consumer Affairs Division. As an Arizona Independent Insurance Agent it is important to share these vital resources with you.  Please feel free to click on the link below to download this complimentary resource – and make a valuable connection with this important Arizona agency.

Arizona New Driver’s Guide to Auto Insurance

Jan Vitale

Independent Insurance Agent

Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years

http://www.lifetimeinvestmentsllc.com/

JanVitale@lifetimeinvestmentsllc.com

The Secret to Finding the Right Auto Insurance Coverage

Jan Vitale, Lifetime Investments, LLC , Auto InsuranceThe secret to finding the right auto insurance coverage hasn’t really been hidden from you; you just have to know where to look! No matter how old you are, where you live, the type of car you drive, or how you use it, there are some secrets to getting the right auto insurance coverage. If you follow the three suggestions below, you’ll have uncovered the secret to purchasing the vehicle insurance that fits your life style. So… whether you are looking to insure your favorite old Camero or a shiny new Mercedes… let me help you find the best, in price, product AND service!

Don’t be impressed by ‘the deal’

Many people believe they can get cut-rate car insurance and save money. However, this is a case of “buyer beware,” as unfortunately, often the so-called “deal” turns out to cost you more for less. Read the fine print and ask questions – you’ll probably find that the “deal” you’re being offered isn’t a deal after all.

You don’t have to find a deal through strangers; ask for what you feel you should be getting from your current insurance agent – who can find you the right product, price and service. Never underestimate the need or value for car insurance; is probably one of the most important ways to protect yourself, your family and your assets. Many people are surprised to discover that increasing liabilities (rather than settling for state minimums) and other upgrades can be “stepped up” for a minimal additional cost.

Another point: Your cousin’s or your neighbor’s coverage may be just right for them, but not necessarily for you. Wish them well when they talk about the cheap policy they got online, but don’t follow their advice. The consequences could be tragic. Just ask me to provide different quotes – some with higher limits, some with extra benefits – so you can make a considered decision with someone you trust.

Consider when and how you use your vehicle

This is an absolute must when it comes to building a policy around your needs. Before buying insurance, you need to know what you’re buying coverage on and the risks that go with it, including those associated with your usage.

For example:

  • If you don’t drive a lot, consider usage-based insurance. It makes the most sense for someone who seldom drives and can save you money. Ensure your vehicle has coverage specific to how it’s used. A car rated as a pleasure vehicle is usually cheaper to insure than a vehicle rated as a commute vehicle. If you only drive the car on weekends or a couple times a month, it should be rated as pleasure.
  • If you drive your vehicle to work or school daily, it’s rated as a commute vehicle; however with the increase of telecommuting, more people are now using their vehicles strictly for pleasure vehicles. Verify that your vehicle is rated correctly, and if you’ve just become a telecommuter, be sure to notify your agent.

Use renewal time to review your coverage

Comprehensive? Collision? Bodily injury liability? If you don’t know what these mean, it’s time you did. Why? Because some people have more coverage than they need; when they renew they simply purchase what they have had in the past. The flip side of that coin, of course, is those vehicle owners who didn’t secure sufficient coverage for their needs, and may not even realize it until they have to make a claim.

Consider renewal time an opportunity to look at your current coverage and discuss it with your insurance professional. Maybe your needs have changed; don’t forget to update your agent on recent developments, such as a new teen driver, a job change that may necessitate more business driving … even getting married. It could mean the difference between being fully covered and paying for a claim out of your pocket.

As a side note, once a teen obtains a driver’s license he or she must be added as a driver to the policy. Failure to do so is considered fraud and in the event of an at fault accident the insurance company could rightfully deny payment of the claims.

Not only should you review your personal policy for the coverage you carry, but you should also feel free to ask me, as your agent, about other coverage options available. For example, if you’re like many, you may think that “full coverage” includes things like towing, labor and rental car coverage. However, currently you may only have liability, comprehensive and collision coverage, without the bells and whistles. The basic package may have been just right when you were younger, but now may not give you what you need… just ask me!

Finding the “secret” to acquiring the right coverage, isn’t difficult, but too many people just don’t think about their auto insurance policies. When it’s time to get together with me as your insurance professional, we can discuss the state of your policy, knowing it is possible to save you money and heartache.

Making MORE happen for my insurance clients…

Jan Vitale

Arizona Independent Insurance Agent
Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years
http://www.lifetimeinvestmentsllc.com/
JanVitale@lifetimeinvestmentsllc.com

This article and any information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publisher will not be responsible for errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

Three Tempe, Arizona Websites That Can Help Your Business

Arizona Commercial Insurance Tempe ArizonaNestled next to Phoenix, Tempe, Arizona is very much its own community. We have our own events, personality and unique businesses. If you are a business owner in the city, here are three websites that may help you in your business.

The Tempe Tourism Office

Why should an area business owner check out the local tourism website? Well, first it is uplifting to read about what all we have here. But just as importantly, it has a nice listing of area events. These are events your business may be able to tie into or participate in. Take a look and get involved. It helps your visibility and branding.

The City of Tempe

The City’s website has an entire section dedicated to businesses. There is an area for keeping and expanding business, an area for small and home based businesses, a section for the Mill Avenue District and much, much more. It is certainly worth a look.

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber website has links to starting a business, a business toolkit, hiring an intern, job postings and a member to member benefits section.

There is another website that may help you as well. That is our website at Lifetime Investments. On our website you can get comparative quotes on your personal auto insurance as well as your homeowners insurance. If you have a business in the 85280 zip code area, we can also assist you with your commercial insurance. Our independent agents are not limited to the offerings of one insurance provider. They can search multiple companies to get you the best rate, without cutting corners on coverage.

If you would like to know more about we can help you save on the commercial insurance for your Tempe business, contact us. At Lifetime Investments we work to help you make the most of your money.

 

Jan Vitale
Independent Insurance Agent
Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years
http://www.lifetimeinvestmentsllc.com/
JanVitale@lifetimeinvestmentsllc.com