It is easy to assume that identity theft only affects your credit reports. It’s in all the headlines and what most people talk about regarding someone stealing your identity, but there is so much more to the crime. Our background reports comprise our driving, criminal, and credit records, all making up a part of our identity. If it is stolen, it makes sense that our background reports reflect that.
It can become glaringly evident that our background reports have been tampered with when we are applying for jobs, trying to buy a home, or if we are getting pulled over by law enforcement. Something that is not our fault can put our life at a standstill.
Is Your Name Common?
While not rooted in the crime of identity theft, having a common name or the same name as someone else can bring trouble regarding your background report. The companies reporting on your credit, criminal history, or driving record might easily mix you up with the person they are actually trying to report. This can put someone’s felony or driving record on your background report, causing you to be blamed and held responsible for something you did not do.
This scenario can also be reversed, where your records are reported on someone else’s report. If you have been working hard to raise your credit or clear your name, your efforts might be for not as it was all reported on someone else with the same or similar name.
Don’t Let Someone Blame You For Their Crimes
Identity theft can happen in the heat of the moment if someone gets pulled over for a traffic violation or other type of crime. That crime will be reported on your record if your name and information are provided. Not only will this be a deterrent for future employers or realtors, but it might cause you to “miss” court dates and lead to more trouble down the road if it is not found and resolved.
How’s Your Driving Record?
A criminal record can also affect your driving record. If your identity is stolen, there is the scenario that you might have tickets or that your driver’s license has been suspended for something that you did not do. If you are trying to buy a new car, get certified for a company vehicle, or actually get pulled over for something you did do, these errors will pop up and put you in a sticky situation. If someone already has your personal information, it becomes very easy for them to claim to be you in life-altering scenarios that they don’t want to be responsible for, making you the scapegoat.
Credit Reports are Just as Important as Background Reports
Ultimately, if your identity is stolen, whether that be from a company breach, stolen credit cards, or personal information being taken from online platforms, it is essential to not only check your credit reports but also to run a background check on yourself to ensure that you are not being blamed for someone else’s acts. Even if it is just as simple as someone having the same name as you, the last thing you want is for your name twin to be out there racking up felonies and misdemeanors in your honor. Don’t let that new job, dream home, or new car slip through your fingers because of someone else’s wrongdoings.
We might talk heavily about the importance of credit reports, but if your identity is stolen, don’t forget about the other aspects of your life that it might affect. If you have further questions or if your identity has been stolen and nothing has been done about it, contact the team at Stecklein & Rapp.