The average amount of time between the date the identity theft occurred and the date it was noticed by the victim was 14 months.
The Physician Assist product is a leading identity theft protection, identity recovery and identity risk scoring program. We offer comprehensive solutions that are building a new standard for identity theft protection. The Physician Assist risk score utilizes millions of records across thousands of databases to provide a proactive scoring solution to help you identify your current risk level of becoming an identity theft victim. Your risk score represents your real time identity risk factor and is not a credit score or credit rating. While no one can guarantee that your identity will not be stolen, our proactive service provides you with 360 degree protection from the serious consequences of identity theft. We watch, warn, restore, ensure and educate you about the dangers of identity theft. Our commitment to you is to be secure, effective and responsive. Physician Assist and our partners continue to develop and build the next generation of solutions to protect your identity in an ever-changing world.
What is Identity Theft?
You see the headlines almost every day. Unsuspecting consumers are being targeted for and victimized by identity theft from every conceivable angle – financial institutions, retailers, mail boxes, post offices, the Internet, email, relatives, co-workers – and the list keeps growing. You never know when it’s going to be your turn. Physician Assist is designed to minimize your exposure and stop the potential misuse of your Identity information.
A Crime More Than Credit Card Fraud
When most people think of identity theft, they think about a thief using their credit cards. Although a serious crime, this form of identity theft does not require the long, time-consuming process of the two most serious forms of ID theft known as Identity Assumption and Synthetic Identity Theft.The crime of “Identity Assumption” occurs when the thief uses your social security number and your name to commit fraud.
The crime of “Synthetic Identity Theft” occurs when the thief uses your social security number and an alias rather than your name to commit fraud. In both cases, the thief either steals or buys a social security number and establishes an address and phone number that you are not aware of. The thief then directs all communication of the fraudulent activity to the address and phone number that the thief controls keeping you unaware of the activity for months or even years.
The longer the thief can prevent you from learning of the fraudulent activity, the more the thief benefits and the more you are harmed.
Identity theft can happen to anyone, a child under the age of 5, an adult, even the dead. Of course the deceased do not have to deal with the problems their loved ones do! The longer the thief can prevent you, the victim, from learning of the fraudulent activity, the more the thief benefits. Meanwhile, harm to the victims continues to grow.
The consequences for you and your family can be serious and you can spend years and thousands of dollars getting your identity back. You may not even know your identity has been stolen until it’s too late. You can be denied employment or turned down for a loan.
Types of Fraud
Approximately 15 million United States residents have their identities used fraudulently each year with financial losses totaling upwards of $50 billion.* That means approximately 7% of all adults have their identities misused with each instance resulting in approximately $3,500 in losses. *Sourced from identitytheft.info
Monitoring non-credit card fraud is important. One particular case involved a soldier having his military ID stolen. Thieves used 20 different addresses in 6 states and opened 65 separate accounts. He incurred $265,000 dollars in damage in four months.
Stealing your medical identity is one of the fastest growing forms of identity theft. In America, 47 million people don’t have adequate medical coverage, which provides a strong incentive for thieves to steal identities.
According to the FTC, between 300,000 to 500,000 people have their medical identity stolen annually.
Having your identity stolen can max out your health insurance lifetime maximum coverage without you even knowing about it.
When your medical records get altered due to merging with an identity thief’s information, it is almost impossible to separate records. Doctors can end up making false diagnoses with faulty data. You could receive the wrong drugs, the incorrect blood type or a diagnosis of mental illness, thus creating life-threatening medical errors.
IRS Fraud / Employment Fraud
There have been instances of identity thieves using or selling social security numbers to defraud the IRS. Victims end up owing thousands of dollars in back taxes to the IRS for an income tax return that wasn’t their own.
Thieves gain employment using someone else’s social security number. In one case, the victim had her identity used by her former boss who applied for additional credit cards using the employee’s social security number. The employee was not aware she was a victim until much later.
Having your identity stolen could land you in jail until you can prove that YOU are not the guilty party. The burden is on YOU to prove that you didn’t commit a crime.
Child Identity Fraud
We protect our children from physical harm but now protecting their identity is just as important. It is not uncommon for a child to be victimized at birth from records stolen from the hospital. There is no cost to the thief to “inventory” this personal data, so they can wait months or years before they decide to sell the information or commit the fraud. The child can become an adult before finding out their identity has been stolen.
How does it Happen?
Nearly 1 in 4 data breach letter recipients became a victim of identity fraud in 2012.
– Javelin Strategy & Research
Family and Friends
It is estimated that more than 30% of identity theft victims are scammed by family and close friends of the family. The key in these crimes is of course access to the necessary data. In over one-third of the cases, the perpetrator was a member of the
victim’s own family. Approximately two of every eight cases involved a victim’s boyfriend or girlfriend committing the crime.
High Profile – In 2016, it is reported that 15.4 million Americans were victims of identity theft and U.S. data breaches hit an all-time record of 1,093 occurrences – compromising billions of records from internet companies, fast food restaurants,
government agencies and healthcare companies. Low Profile – Your information at doctors’ offices, dentists, car dealerships, mortgage brokers, employers – anyone that handles your name, social security number, date of birth or other sensitive information – can put your information at risk, whether deliberately or due to an oversight.
Personal Information Vulnerability
Think about how many people see your social security number (someone snooping over your shoulder as you fill out a form, phishing emails and more) and how easy it might be for a thief to take quick note of it. ID theft criminals can still rummage through your trash, use hacking to access your computer through improperly setup firewalls and steal mail directly from your mailbox. The risk of identity theft may start in places you never thought likely.
In 2016, identity thieves stole over $16 billion from 15.4 million U.S. consumers.
– Javelin Strategy & Research
Medical Identity Theft
Victim: Anndorie Sachs: Social services threatened to take her children because her medical records suggested she had used illegal drugs. Full Article
Victim: Andrew Brooks: Andrew was only a 3 week old baby when his father received collection notices for a work related injury in his new baby’s name. Full Article
Victim: Malcolm Byrd: His ID was stolen by a drug dealer. Police aggressively arrested him several times. He lost his two jobs and was denied unemployment insurance because of his “criminal record.” Full Article
Victim: Stancy Nesby: Detained, arrested or jailed by SF police six times during 16 months. Judge ruled that warrants for her arrest were in error… but the bogus warrants were never voided. It took more than 5 years to clear up. Unfortunately, ID expert claims her case is “not unique.” Full Article
Employment – IRS Fraud
Victim: Audra Schmierer: A 33 year old San Francisco housewife had her ID hijacked in 17 states by 81 illegal persons. She ended up owing the IRS $16k in back taxes due to identity thieves in Texas – where she had never worked. The government took little or no action. The IRS informed her that she would have to correct the problem again in the future. Full Article
Non-credit Card Financial Fraud
Victim: John Harrison: John Harrison’s military ID was stolen and a thief used it with 20 addresses in 6 different states and 65 separate accounts; $265,000 worth of damage in just 4 months. Full Article
Victim: Linda Foley: (Employment Fraud) When Linda Foley began working in 1997 for Bari Nessel, (the publisher of a local women’s magazine in Mira Mesa, California), she thought it was just standard procedure to give her employer her social security number and a copy of her driver’s license, since she was going to be driving as part of her work. Though Foley believed she was merely complying with the law, you can imagine her astonishment when she realized that her employer took that information and used her identity to buy a new cell phone and apply for credit cards. Full Article
Child Victim Identity Theft
Victim: Katrina Brooke: Her son’s identity was stolen from the hospital when he was born. His identity was abused multiple times within a week. Her newborn son risked maxed out medical insurance, maxed out medical insurance means no more medical insurance for life. Full Article
Victim: Gabriel Jimenez: He had his identity stolen at 11 years old by an illegal alien who abused it for over ten years. As an adult, Gabriel was denied banking and utilities. Full Article
The FTC estimates that recovering from identity theft takes an average of six months and 200 hours of work
ID Theft Risk Score
Identity risk scores are a proactive scoring solution to help you identify your current level of risk. Your risk score is generated by applying proprietary analytics to hundreds of billions of records to create a risk score between 0 and 999. The higher the score, the higher your risk for identity theft. Your risk score is not a credit score or a credit rating. The risk score indicates your level of risk at the time the score is generated. It can change at any time depending by detecting new suspicious activity that could indicate the beginning steps of identity theft.
After stealing social security numbers, thieves might wait years before attempting to steal someone’s identity. That’s why continuous monitoring with Physician Assist is important in protecting your identity. Once you have identified your risk, you have taken the first step to managing it. Log onto the http://member.consumerbenefits.com and follow the links to learn your score.
If there is a chance your personal information has been compromised, your first priority is quickly and completely protecting your identity, preventing thieves from fraudulently benefiting from the use of your personal information. Our unique and proprietary methodology proactively searches thousands of financial and non-financial databases to detect the early stages of identity theft. And, if suspicious activity is found, you are notified by a personal phone call, making it easier to take the follow-up steps to limit potential damage.
If you become a victim of identity theft, our highly trained fraud resolution specialists will conduct seven (7) emergency response activities within two (2) business days. Our highly trained specialists will work with you to repair the damage and restore your good name to its pre-theft condition.
Free Financial Coaching – Up to 60 minutes telephone consultation with a financial counselor regarding the issue.
Free Legal Consultation – Up to 60 minutes consultation with an attorney on each new issue involving the theft of your identity.
Unlimited Service Guarantee – The Physician Assist restoration service will do whatever it takes to restore your name to pre-identity theft status. The restoration service will take all necessary steps in restoring your identity and good name to a pre-theft status.
$1 Million Insurance Protection*
To help curtail the devastating financial impact identity theft can cause, Physician Assist includes coverage designed to reimburse you for the expenses incurred to reclaim your identity. Dedicated support professionals who understand that identity theft is a traumatic, criminal event are available 24/7 to assist
you until your crisis is completely resolved.
Identity theft topped the list of fraud complaints for the 15th consecutive year according to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Report.
Federal Trade Commission Privacy Guidelines
FTC Identity Theft Website
Identity Theft Tools for Victims
Identity Theft and Your Tax Records
Identity Theft Resource Page
Department of Justice: Identity Theft & Identity Fraud
Protecting Your Identity
*Identity theft insurance underwritten by subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual Identity policies for terms, conditions and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.