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Financial Literacy - Protecting your identity Click Here
MONEY MAKEOVER
ID theft victim Mike
A victim of a security breach, Mike sets out to determine if an identity thief has made illicit use of his personal information.
Protecting your identity
Profile: "Mike"
The problem:
Mike's personal information was compromised.
The plan:
Take the steps necessary to thwart potential fraudsters.
  Money makeover: Profile

The profile
In this case, Bankrate.com departed from its tradition of hiring a financial planner to analyze an individual's personal finances. This Financial Literacy installment focuses on identity theft, and though personal finances are almost always affected, the steps that an ID theft victim must take to clear his or her name require a different type of makeover.

Because of the difficulty involved in finding an ID theft victim willing to talk publicly, Bankrate.com asked Kroll Fraud Solutions to find a willing victim and also conduct the Money Makeover. We ended up with a story about "Mike," whose name has been changed for privacy purposes. The facts of his case are true, however.

Mike, 52, worked as a civil servant with a well-known federal agency. After several years with the agency, Mike received a letter from that agency alerting him to the loss of an external computer hard drive. Although Mike was no longer employed by the government agency at the time he received the letter, his personal and financial information had remained on file with the agency long after his departure.

The data breach exposed Mike's personally identifiable information -- including his Social Security number -- as well as his checking account information, which the agency had used for direct deposit payroll. Mike was not a bona fide victim of identity theft yet, but he knew he was at risk.

The problem  




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