Identity Theft

Identity Theft Can Happen to Anyone

October 25, 2023
by Team SESLOC

An 87-year-old widow was scammed for $70,000, including the purchase of a vehicle and application for a student loan. 

A police lieutenant had his personal information stolen and used in three separate instances of identity theft. The theft originated from data related to his childhood insurance coverage. 

A bank vice president found out his identity had been used to open four credit cards, purchase a sports car, and rent an apartment. The thief had a driver’s license featuring his own picture and the stolen information.

These true stories are just a few examples of identity theft that could happen to anyone, regardless of your age, occupation, financial status, or where you live. In each case, the victims learned about the crime after their information was stolen and had already been used multiple times. 

Identity theft occurs when someone steals another person’s sensitive personal information and either uses it as their own or sells it on the black market for other perpetrators to use for financial gain or fraud. Identity theft has been making headlines for years; however, each and every year, thieves become more sophisticated. Staying in step with these criminal advances is a constant struggle for small business owners, corporations, and individual consumers alike. In spite of the work that is being done to keep our information safe, cases of identity theft continue to be reported at an alarming rate. 

According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Report published in 2023 and covering the full year of 2022, reported cases of identity theft have increased by over 584% in the last 20 years. Other interesting data that came from this report:

While safeguarding your personal information is key, so is knowing what to do if you find out that you have already become a victim of identity theft. First, you should know what red flags to watch out for, as time is of the essence when dealing with identity theft. The longer you wait to begin the recovery process, the more losses you risk facing. Early warning signs of identity theft can include: 

If any of the above signs apply to you, they should be addressed immediately. We have dedicated Identity Theft Recovery Advocates who are available to you as a HomeFREE Checking™ account holder. They can help you assess what information has been compromised and assist in quickly taking steps to stop the damage and recover your identity, regardless of the type of identity theft or how it happened.

Once you have addressed the immediate issues surrounding the theft of your personal information, there are a few things you can do to help protect your identity in the future.

Identity theft can happen to anyone, and its effects can range from a small annoyance to financial devastation. The best protection is prevention, but if your information is used without your knowledge, we are standing by to help. If you are HomeFREE Checking™ account holder and you think that you might be a victim of identity theft, contact us and we will put you in touch with a professional Identity Theft Recovery Advocate.


Prepared by NXG|Strategies, Copyright 2023.