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By Peter Tworoger


Identity theft can be devastating. The costs associated with identity theft have surpassed that of the drug trade. According to USA Today, the number of victims is expected to increase 20 fold over the next few years.

Identity theft is not just about credit cards. The five types of identity theft are: DRIVERS LICENSE * SOCIAL SECURITY * MEDICAL * CHARACTER/CRIMINAL * FINANCIAL

How can identity theft harm you—and what can you do to protect yourself, your family and your business from identity theft?


In San Diego, numerous articles have been on the front pages of newspapers as well as on the news. Bank accounts have been wiped out. In many cases, the theft has been accomplished by computer hackers overseas stealing money from our local bank accounts. In one case in San Diego, thieves emptied an elderly lady’s bank account in addition to her overdraft protection. The bank sued to collect the funds stolen from the overdraft account. A local hospital employee recently was convicted for selling medical records.

When you show your drivers license or social security number for identification upon cashing a check or making a purchase with a credit card, each of your numbers are worth up to $150.00 to thieves.

Dishonest clerks or cashiers who are able to memorize ten social security numbers or drivers license numbers/week can add an additional $ 1500.00/week to their income. Employers are required to obtain identification as part of the hiring process and unfortunately the identification could be yours or members of your family.

Your information could be used by someone to obtain medical treatment. A newborn baby, for example, could be born under the influence of drugs. If you are a parent with a family and someone used your personal information at the hospital when the baby was born, Child Protective Services may attempt to take your children in the mistaken belief, they are in jeopardy.

If a thief uses your identification, commits a crime in another State and does not show up for a Court date which you know nothing about, you could be arrested while driving with a broken tail light. At the time you are pulled over for the tail light violation, the officer will check for any other violations and may detain you.
Thieves are now stealing children’s Social Security numbers and using them to obtain credit and make purchases.

Did you know you can purchase a plan for less than $ 1.00/day that will provide you and your family with Identity Theft Restoration and Legal Protection?


Businesses are required to protect personal information. If personal information is lost, the business is required to restore the lost identity of anyone whose sensitive information the business was responsible for protecting. Under the Red Flags Rule employers have until November 1, 2009 to be in compliance or face fines and other penalties for loss of sensitive information. Many additional State and Federal laws have also been enacted.

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) requires businesses to establish policies for prevention of loss of sensitive information as well as conduct employee training. To date no company that has taken proper action to prevent loss of sensitive information has been fined when losses have occurred. Many employers are now enhancing their benefit packages by offering identity theft legal plans.

Peter Tworoger, the author of this article has been an East County resident for over 14 years. He is a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist and has over 30 years management, HR and consulting experience. For information on how to protect you and your family or your business and your employees, Pete can be reached at: 619-840-5999 or 800-221-3319.

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