Identity Theft: Online and On The Street

idenity theifPost Date November 21, 2012 –  Identity theft is the type crime where the perpetrators have become very creative in their craft to prey on unsuspecting victims. If you have been a regular reader of  my Blog, you know I have broached this subject in the past.  Beyond being taken advantage by unlicensed auto insurance websites, today, identity theft can happen easily through exchanging personal information at the scene of a car accident.  It does not matter if  the event is a major accident or just a minor fender bender, identity theft and thieves whom perpetrate it are waiting patiently for you.

Identity theft is an expanding industry

A California-based Identity Theft Resource Center has found  a new scam where identity theft is often occurs during staged auto accidents.  This is not just to make a lucrative false injury claim but to obtain the other driver’s personal information. Drivers are quite vulnerable as auto insurance information is being swapped everyday. Identity thieves will use such information to steal the other driver’s identity. A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) showed that many drivers are giving up too much of their personal information after an auto accident. Any driver involved in an auto accident should watch when sharing his or hers auto insurance information. The information you should share needs to be restricted to your auto insurance policy number and that your personal information shall be kept to minimal such as name, address and contact number only. Social Security Number should never be shared. Further, any legitimate person should not ask you for it. license information. Even making a copy of your  drivers license will also expose a driver to identity theft. The best way to keep yourself  out of harm’s way is to call the authorities and provide them what auto insurance information you need to exchange with the other driver.


Michael E. Dortch
President &  Managing Agent
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