We use our phones to make purchases, check our bank accounts, and even pay our bills. There is no doubt that these innovations have made our lives easier. However, as our reliance on technology increases, so does our risk of falling victim to crime.
Identity theft can occur to anyone at any time. In 2022, there were over 1.1 million reports of identity theft across the country. According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2022, Florida had 111,221 identity theft reports: The third highest number of identity theft reports in the country. Approximately 53% of Florida’s identity theft reports were a result of credit card fraud.
Our identity makes us unique, differentiating us from one another. Oftentimes, our distinct identity could be stolen or even duplicated in an attempt to commit fraud. This is referred to as identity theft. An identity thief will typically open credit cards or lines of credit, files taxes, or get medical services in your name without your knowledge. These activities will damage your credit and cost you time and money to rectify.
Here are a few ways to protect yourself from identity theft:
- Keep track of sensitive material. Store your driver’s license, Social Security card, passport, credit cards, and other important documents in a safe place. Make sure to always shred credit card offers, bank statements and receipts.
- Monitor your bank accounts. By checking your bank accounts on a frequent basis, you can limit the damage to your accounts. Pay close attention to credit reports, bills, and financial statements. Should anything appear incorrect, contact your financial institution immediately.
- Create different and long passwords for each account. Unique passwords that are sentences or phrases are more difficult to guess than a name or single word. Avoid sequential numbers (1234) and include at least one special character (&#@!). When given the opportunity, always add an authentication step to protect access even further to your account.
- Collect your mail daily. Identity theft does not always need to be high-tech. One of the easiest ways a thief can steal your identity is by taking your physical mail from your mailbox. Keep track of expected mail, check your mailbox daily, and put your mail on hold while you are away.
- Never respond to unsolicited requests for sensitive or personal information. Sharing your Social Security number should always be done with caution, especially over the phone. Never give out the number if you did not initiate the call, and always verify why the person needs it. Try to give an alternate form of identification, if possible.
- Add identity theft coverage to your insurance policy. Having identity theft coverage covers the expenses you may face after having your identity stolen. Identity theft insurance can help you recover from the costs related to identity theft, including legal fees and lost wages.
What is Identity Theft Insurance?
Identity theft coverage is a protective financial product that is designed to cover the expenses you may incur after being defrauded. Florida Peninsula offers our policyholders protection against identity theft. In the event you should fall victim to identity theft/fraud, the coverage pays for expenses incurred as a result of any single identity theft or fraud discovered or learned of during the policy period up to a limit of $25,000.
Florida Peninsula and Edison, the Florida Peninsula Family of Companies, can assist by providing solutions that work for you and your home. Call your insurance agent or contact our Customer Service Department to discuss your options. Our promise – fast, fair and friendly – is our motto, and we live by it. We appreciate your business and look forward to serving you.
Notice: Please check your specific policy and speak to your carrier, legal advisor, and/or licensed agent for more information. Policies differ, and revisions occur frequently. All information is general only.