Few things are more sacred to a person than his or her identity, and while most people are aware that identity theft is rampant, few realize just how prevalent id theft really is, or how important it is for a person to be proactive in protecting his or her identity. Like the old saying goes, "Hindsight is 20/20," and today's prevailing wisdom dictates that the smart individual recognize the threat and take steps to circumvent it before he becomes a victim.

Many people rightfully assume that one of the main reasons people's identities are stolen is for the purpose of illegal financial gain, which of course, does happen, quite frequently. Identity theft is the most prevalent crime in America and many people who failed to protect themselves with identity theft prevention have had the sad and stressful experience of finding their accounts emptied and themselves holding stacks of bills for items they never purchased.

What people often do not realize, is that a large number of identity thefts are for purposes other than financial gain (although financial gain may well still be a factor).

Think about how many people you know who might just like the opportunity to start life over again. Suppose they've simply made a lot of mistakes. Perhaps they ruined their credit with unwise purchases, or married the wrong person, or went to medical school but failed to graduate. Suppose they made poor decisions in their youth, ended up going to credit monitoring services prison for a period and are now labeled as a convicted felon for the rest of their lives. There are almost as many reasons people might like to start life anew as there are people. Most people, of course, accept responsibility for their past actions and get on with the business of life reparation the good old fashioned way, but some find what they believe to be an easier path. They steal someone's identity and never look back.

It sounds like the stuff of fiction, but it happens every day. There are attorneys practicing law who aren't really attorneys, people attending prestigious universitites who didn't really have the grades to get in, and doctors prescribing medicine who never went to medical school. Whether or not you think your ordinary life is anything particularly special, chances are there is someone lurking around the corner who would take your identity for his or her own in a second.

It is only after a person's identity has been stolen that the nightmare begins. First, you must prove that you are who you are, then you must recover your identity which can take weeks, months, even years, depending upon how extensive the damage the imposter perpetuated in your name. Being unwilling to go through this ordeal is the very reason why so many people have chosen to avail themselves of id theft protection before their identity is compromised.


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    December 2013