Criminals love your “If I Go Missing File”; a blog about Identity Theft May 23, 2022

Have you ever wondered how those people you watch in movies, news, and tv shows get their identity stolen? Well, it’s more common than you might think. And we are not only talking about IDs and banking details but also about those files “unlock” our lives; passports, birth certificates, social security cards, life insurance statements, property documents and so much more.

Identity theft is a multi-billion dollar problem that affects tens of thousands of people each year. It can be a very scary and stressful experience, especially if you aren't sure what to do. But don’t panic just yet, luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent and protect yourself against identity theft in this modern age era.

How does Identity Theft happen?

identity theft
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According to the USA Government website:

Identity (ID) theft happens when someone steals your personal information to commit fraud.

The identity thief may use your information to apply for credit, file taxes, or get medical services. These acts can damage your credit status, and cost you time and money to restore your good name.

As a cautious person, you’d rather have all your personal information, including medical records and financial details stored somewhere you’d think is safe. Wherever that place is, it may not be as safe as you think.

Identity theft can happen in various shapes and sizes. Identity thieves are often looking for someone to fall into their frauds, contacting them via email, text messages, and often, phone calls. They pretend to be a relative or friend seeking financial help and sometimes, unfortunately, people fall into the trap.

Another common way for it to happen is, having your information leaked into the dark web or some website whose main function is to steal your financial, medical, and personal records, you may have your credit card information saved in an online shopping database and they sell the information to someone else or a hacker leaks it.

However, there’s also a possibility of someone simply stealing your documents in physical form, perhaps they already know you in person, perhaps they’re watching your every move, or maybe it’s just a result of a random burglary. Either way, the outcome is the same - your confidential folders get stolen from wherever you think you stored them safely. Stay tuned for the perfect online digital solution and protection strategy for you and those you most care about.

Why is having your personal data information in physical form helping criminals

Having no control over where your most private and important personal information ends up when leaked, is devastating and terrifying and could cause severe anxiety to anyone who goes through it.

Of the many forms of identity theft, there are a few that are more frequent, including medical, financial, criminal, and child identity theft, all of which are important to gather and have securely stored in your If I Go Missing file.

1. Medical Identity Theft

Medical identity theft happens when another person steals your medical records and uses them for fraud; for example, to get prescription drugs. They often also use your name and insurance documents to get access to medical services like checkups, exams, wheelchairs, and more, which you will then be billed for.

2. Financial Identity Theft

Financial identity theft is perhaps the most common type of identity theft there is and it happens when someone else other than you steals your banking or credit information and uses it for their own benefit. Financial identity theft can occur in many different ways, such as; a criminal stealing your credit card information and using it to buy things or services, which is much more frequent thanks to online shopping.

Another way for financial identity theft to happen is when cybercriminals access and steal your funds from your bank account. There are many ways they can get access: by tricking you into clicking on a malicious link, by unknowingly giving away important details during a scam call, or by leaking your information that was stolen from another service or website.

The thing with this type of scam is that if criminals get access to this sensitive information they can buy really expensive stuff that you may not be able to afford, withdraw all of your savings and even open new accounts with your Social Security number and personal data, while you end up in suffocating debt.

3. Child Identity Theft

Talking and caring about our children’s safety is one of the most important things we can and should do as parents. We obviously want to protect them against all possible harm and child identity theft is one of these cases because it involves using a minor’s information to commit any type of financial and criminal fraud. Criminals could steal your child's private and personal data to open new bank accounts and forever damage their credit or opportunity to take a student loan. There really is no limit with a stolen identity; criminals can get a driver’s license and buy houses, cars, and virtually anything else you can imagine.

This is the type of information people usually carry with them or have it “securely” stored somewhere in their home, but sadly, child identity theft usually comes from someone you’re already close to like a friend or family member.

How to prevent Identity Theft and safeguard your personal information

How to prevent Identity Theft
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Now we know a few types of identity theft, but what could you possibly do to protect yourself and your loved ones from these types of crimes?

1. Check your bank accounts regularly.

Checking your bank account information, credit card statements, bills, and credit reports can definitely make the difference when it comes to securing your financial account details. You’ll be way more aware of suspicious activity so you can immediately report it.

2. Be alert to phishing and spoofing.

Always be alert of scammers that may make calls and send emails to make themselves sound like a relative asking for help or an entity asking for more personal information. Never give out personal information without verifying it’s really them and never click on weird emails and links. Scammers can sometimes spoof email addresses as well so even if an email appears legit, it very well may not be. If you’re unsure, it’s best to call your bank or service provider directly.

3. Monitor medical statements regularly.

Make some time in your calendar to regularly check and review your medical statements, prescriptions, and any transaction to make sure you recognize everything in there.

4. Beware of your surroundings.

Criminals definitely love your “If I Go Missing File”, or well, your most important life-saving information. That's why you immediately need a better way of securing this data other than having it physically stored. Don’t leave your credit cards out in the open to be seen. The same goes for social security cards and social media accounts details like passwords and such.

5. Safeguard all of your and your family’s personal data.

Securing your own, and your family’s, personal data is an absolute must to at least have some peace of mind when it comes to not letting anyone malicious get access to it. As mentioned before, criminals love when they can easily track everything you do on social media, on websites, and even track everywhere you go. That’s their most known modus operandi.

An easy, user-friendly, and definitely accessible way to safeguard your personal data, important files, and documents is to find a service that securely stores all these life-saving documents and ensures that no one else can access this information without your specific approval. This is HelpYouFind.Me.

HelpYouFind.Me is the first secure online “If I Go Missing Folder” service, where you, your friends, and family get to save and store all their personal data such as social security numbers, birth certificates, insurance plans, medical records, banking accounts details, instructions on what should your family do in case you ever go missing, and so much more.

If I Go Missing Folder through HelpYouFind.Me
HelpYouFind.Me

The key advantage of having a secure “If I Go Missing File” by HelpYouFind.Me is that it’s end-to-end encrypted. Meaning that we couldn’t access your data even if we wanted to. In fact, no one can access your data without your approval. You choose who you share your data with and how, and when, they can access it.

Read more about the “If I Go Missing Folder” here and take the next step toward having more control over your personal information.

What’s Next?

With the help of some of the tips mentioned above, you will definitely reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. Online and in the “real world”, criminals will take advantage of whatever chances they’re given. So always do your best to be aware and limit those chances!

Plus, in this digitized internet age, having a good digital safety service, like HelpYouFind.Me and other ways to protect yourself against online threats definitely don’t hurt!

Join the Safety Network with HelpYouFind.Me and help protect yourself against criminals and identity thieves anywhere you go!

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Written by
Adriana Lopez

Adriana Lopez