Imagine getting a call from a collection agency that tells you to pay the $4,000 they claim that you owe from a local department store. The same day, you get a message from a collection agency representing the local health club chain in town—and you haven't belonged to that club for years.
According to a recent report by Javelin Strategy & Research, 8.1 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2010, resulting in a total of $37 billion in fraud losses.
Your EAP benefit can help you prevent identity thieves from using your Social Security number, credit cards and other financial information to buy cars, get cell phones, open new credit card accounts—and recover should any of those events occur.
Identity Theft Prevention Powerful Online Tools
While you cannot completely prevent identity theft—knowledgeable criminals can commit identity theft relatively easily—there are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of fraud.
Two of the most important tips are:
- Check your credit report at least once a year
- Stop giving out or using your Social Security Number, even when asked.
For more comprehensive prevention measures, visit the Legal and Financial Resources section of our website at VITALWorkLife.com.
We Can Help
If you believe that your identity has been compromised, your EAP benefit provides access to ID Theft Counselors who will help you evaluate your situation and walk you through the recovery process, if necessary.
Our counselors provide connections to information, FTC Affidavits, referrals for legal representation if needed, as well as assessments and resources. Your benefit includes up to three 30-minute telephone consultations with an Identity Theft Counselor.
Connect with your resources by calling 800.383.1908 or through your VITAL WorkLife App.
Access To Local Practicing Attorneys with Discounted Rates
If you become a victim of ID Theft, and an ID Theft Counselor advises the assistance of an attorney, you will be referred to a local practicing network attorney that has experience in these types of issues. You will receive up to a 30-minute consultation at no cost, and 25% off the attorney's hourly rate if an hourly rate is quoted.