As technology continues to permeate our day-to-day lives, identity theft seems to be a growing phenomenon in the United States. That being said, identity theft happens to strike a nerve with the general public as many individuals find their personal lives destroyed as a result of having their information misused. As if having personal information stolen wasn’t bad enough, people who are victims of identity theft are often subjected to public scorn, lost credibility, and a ruined reputation.
Our team at Stecklein & Rapp has the experience necessary to help you restore your good name. With offices in Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City, Kansas, and Lincoln, Nebraska, Stecklein & Rapp serves clients all over the midwest, including Eastern Kansas, Western Missouri, Colorado, and Nebraska. Identity theft can take many forms, and perhaps that’s why there are so many misunderstandings and misconceptions surrounding it.
Common Misconceptions About Identity Theft
If you have questions about identity theft, it is essential to speak with experienced attorneys. The following misconceptions about identity theft should not be taken lightly.
Scams Are Easy to Identify
Until recently, attempts to obtain personal information, usually through email, often included obvious signs of deceit, such as misspelled words, improper use of English, or a clear redirect from a legitimate website to a fraudulent page. Unfortunately, scammers are becoming more and more careful, though, and, as a result, are making it harder to spot phishing emails.
I Have Strong Passwords to My Logins
It’s no longer realistic to expect a password with complex characters and symbols to deter criminals from accessing your online accounts. Today, cybercriminals can use advanced software to test billions of password combinations. They are often able to access passwords by breaching the security systems of companies, government agencies, medical facilities, schools, and other organizations. Therefore, no matter how strong or complex you think your passwords are to your social media or bank accounts, you can still be a victim.
I Do Not Have Any Money, So I Am Not a Target
Financial status is irrelevant to an identity thief. One of the most common misconceptions is that identity thieves only target the rich. However, they know most people and small businesses lack the time and resources to set up robust cyber security systems. Therefore, these criminals are more likely to target them with cyber attacks.
I Use Antivirus Software, So I Am Secure
While antivirus software is a good start regarding cybersecurity, it is by no means comprehensive in keeping your information secure. Most antivirus programs are unable to detect all malware and viruses, meaning they can only protect against known cyber attacks. Seemingly believable phishing scams and dormant viruses can also make your passwords and personal information more vulnerable.
I Will Get an Alert If Someone Steals My Identity
This is one of the top misconceptions regarding identity theft. While these alerts notify you of suspicious activity related to a specific card, they can’t do the same for other electronically stored information, such as medical or tax records. This type of service deals with only one type of fraud rather than all types. Checking your credit card statement each month is not enough to protect you from identity theft. Whoever steals your information will likely use it open and abuse a new account that won’t ever appear on your current statements.
My Personal Information Is Already Out There
A lot of information that is shared freely, such as birthdays, phone numbers, ZIP codes, and email addresses, is very valuable to identity thieves. Separately, these details might not be valuable, but identity thieves can take one of them and post it on underground sites used to buy, sell and trade people’s personal information. From those sites, other identity thieves can purchase enough personal information to use it for fraud.
How Knowledgeable Identity Theft Attorneys Can Help
No one is immune to identity theft, no matter how cautious they are. If you’re fighting against fraud or identity theft and need legal assistance, contact our team of experienced attorneys at Stecklein & Rapp today to speak with someone who can help. We serve clients in Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City, Kansas, Lincoln, Nebraska, Eastern Kansas, Western Missouri, Colorado, and Nebraska.