identity theft nightmare

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One of the biggest and most pervasive crimes being committed today is categorized under the umbrella of identity theft. Even though there are safeguards in place (such as Lifelock identity theft protection), many people are either unaware of them or are unwilling to purchase them, thinking that it “won’t happen to me.” That is, until it does.

In this article, we’ve collected five short stories from the news that show what can happen when identity theft hits home. None of the five victims thought it could happen to them, and none of them had any form of identity theft protection when they were victimized. Read their true stories and take them to heart. It costs much less to employ the services of a Lifelock than it does to repair your life after an identity thief takes away your good name.

#1: Cellular Nightmare

When Bill Haskins got a call from his cell phone company telling him that someone had been using his SSN, he couldn’t imagine what had happened. He filed a fraud alert with the credit agencies and discovered that an unnamed criminal had used his name and identity to skip out on several loans, leases, and there were several civil cases pending against him in various states! Over three years later, Haskins is still trying to get all of the loose ends tied up, while his good name has been dragged through the financial and legal dirt.

#2. Company Negligence

Frank Thompson worked for a large company in the Chicago area. Unbeknownst to Thompson or his fellow employees, the company furnished the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all their employees to another company while in the process of purchasing the company. A short time later, Chicago police arrested some individuals who had been using the credit card numbers of several of these employees, racking up tens of thousands of dollars in purchases. Both the police and the company’s reactions to the mishap was the same: you should have protected yourself. Remember, the only one looking out for you is yourself…and Lifelock if you enlist their protective services.

#3. Unforwarded Theft

Grace Culsick moved from North Carolina to Miami early last year. She left her forwarding address with the post office, but they neglected to forward her mail. The new residents suddenly had full access to all of her mail, much of which contained very private, sensitive information. They used this information to get credit cards in Culsick’s name. When the post office was informed of their mistake, they had little to say, other than, “Whoops! So sorry…” Culsick was left with a destroyed credit history and thousands of fraudulent charges in her name.

#4. A Surprise Delinquency

Nothing could have prepared Mary Hartman for the surprise phone call she received a few months ago. A company called her out of the blue one day, informing her that she was delinquent in her payments, and the matter was soon to be turned over to a collections agency. She was aghast, considering she had not opened an account. An identity thief had opened new accounts, racked up debt, and left Hartman’s credit in disarray, preventing her from taking out new loans or mortgages. It took Hartman over three years to finally get the credit black mark off her reports and return to a state of spotless credit.

#5. Relatively Speaking

Identity theft by a relative is one of the most common – and hardest to prove – forms of the crime occurring in the United States. Just ask Helen Risedale. Her sister had stolen her identity and used it while living a life of crime. She was shocked when she discovered she had a criminal record with thirteen police departments around the country, as well as with the FBI. Remember, identity theft can easily be more than your financial credit; identity theft can land you behind bars for crimes you never committed.

All of these stories could have been prevented with more diligence on the parts of the victims. If they had taken the time to enlist the services of Lifelock, or at least taken precautions with monitoring their credit, it would be very likely that none of this would have happened. Don’t wait until you become another statistic. Start now, and keep criminals away from your private numbers and your clean legal history.

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