Personal Information: How to Prevent and Protect Against Identity Theft

Identity Theft Insurance, Identity Theft Policy, Types of Identity Theft, Identity Theft PreventionIdentity theft occurs when someone obtains personal information such as your name, credit card number, birth date, Social Security number, home address, or bank account numbers to use illegitimately. This unauthorized use of your personal information can result in great financial loss as the thief amasses credit card debt and tarnishes your credit score rating.

According to the FTC, in 2022, an estimated 1.1 million people in the US fell victim to identity theft1. Here are some ways you can prevent identity theft from happening and protect yourself.


There are 5 main forms of identity theft. If you find yourself in one of the following situations, report it immediately.

Child ID theft: Identity thieves can gain your child’s personal information through a data breach at their school or health provider. With this information, the thief can open new accounts. Unfortunately, this form of theft can go unnoticed for many years, and often until the child is an adult.

Tax ID theft: Your Social Security number can be used by an identity thief to file fraudulent income tax returns so that they can get a cash payout from the IRS. This will make it difficult to file your return and can lead to an investigation lasting months.

Medical ID theft: Health insurance is a major target for identity thieves. They will use your information to obtain medical insurance or use your policy to pay for their medical expenses.

Senior ID theft: According to the FTC, only 20% of senior citizens reported financial loss due to fraud2. The FBI states this might be because this group of identity theft victims are unsure of who to report it to, are ashamed, or even afraid3. Because of these facts, identity thieves may take advantage of seniors.

Social ID theft: While not as much of a risk as the previously mentioned forms of identity theft, social media identity theft can cause irreparable damage to your reputation. The thief can use your name, photos, and other personal information to create fake social media accounts on any platform.


The Federal Trade Commission recommends taking the following precautions to protect yourself from getting your information stolen:

  • Check your mailbox daily and drop your outgoing mail into a secure U.S. postal mailbox only.
  • Opt out of credit card solicitations to prevent credit card fraud by calling 888-567-8688.
  • Avoid carrying your Social Security Card or other sensitive information in your wallet unless necessary.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycles and statements. If you are not receiving bills or notice a billing address different than your own, you may be a victim of identity theft.
  • Give your personal information on a need-to-know basis and to legitimate businesses only.
  • Create strong passwords that are impossible for an identity thief to guess for all online accounts.


Identity Theft Insurance, Identity Theft Policy, Types of Identity Theft, Identity Theft Prevention

The FTC and the IRS take identity theft seriously and are there to assist you. If you suspect you are a victim of any type of identity theft, take these steps immediately:

  • Report identity theft with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by filing the official FTC identity theft report at


Repairing the damage from identity theft can be time-consuming and expensive. Nobody wants to spend additional money reestablishing their reputation and credit after falling victim to identity theft. Identity theft insurance is designed to assist you with the financial burden of repairing damages after your identity has been stolen. Most policies do not reimburse loss from theft but rather help prevent further loss.

Additionally, while some plans may provide free credit monitoring, identity theft insurance does not prevent identity theft. Instead, identity theft coverage helps with expenses as you navigate the identity recovery process, which is useful whether or not you lost money to an identity thief.


As a voluntary benefit offered by your employer, identity theft insurance premiums are usually paid through payroll deductions, which may give you a group discount. If you make an insurance claim, many providers will reimburse you for covered expenses you may have already paid, minus any applicable deductible.

In most cases, they will also work with the credit bureaus, the IRS, and your creditors to clear up any instances of fraud or theft. Having identity theft insurance can provide peace of mind and valuable assistance if you become a victim of identity theft.


Eligible expenses may include the following:

  • PostaIdentity Theft Insurance, Identity Theft Policy, Types of Identity Theft, Identity Theft Preventionge and certified mailing costs
  • Phone bills
  • Photocopying charges
  • Notary and filing fees
  • Legal fees and attorney fees
  • Fees for reapplying for loans, grants, or other credit lines that were denied due to identity theft
  • Lost wages due to time away from work to meet with police, confer with attorneys, or engage in other recovery-related activities
  • Cost of obtaining your credit report

Additionally, the policy may cover fees for or provide access to a fraud specialist who can support and guide you through the recovery process. Some plans may provide their own experts to assist you.

Contact your Human Resources Department or Benefits Administer with any questions about your specific identity theft insurance policy, if available.

If your group is thinking about adding identity theft protection to your employee benefits program, contact one of our consultants to get started. You can also follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn or here on the FBS Blog for more employee benefits education resources.



[2]: Protecting Older Consumers, 2021-2022: A Report of the Federal Trade Commission


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