ID Theft - Is the threat real?
Identity theft is becoming more and more of an issue for individuals and businesses around the world as fraudsters become more adventurous in the way in which they seek to harvest your ID details and documentation. Identity theft protection is a subject which is currently being debated on websites, amongst regulators, in business and by individuals in the UK and around the world.
ID theft statistics show that instances of ID theft are increasing on an annual basis and while the Internet offers an interesting route into your home for the ID fraudsters, there are many other ways in which they can harvest your personal details. Whether you are replying to a random e-mail promising new money in return for assistance, throwing your bank statements into the bin or answering a genuine sounding telephone call asking you to clarify your details, there are many ways and means in which you can become a victim of identity theft.
Is ID theft insurance really required?
One of the main arguments put forward against ID theft insurance is the fact that many existing insurance arrangements and financial services offer a degree of identification theft protection already. However, it is worthwhile remembering that while many everyday arrangements may include a certain degree of identification theft protection these policies and services were often set up many years ago when the problem of ID theft was relatively small. The issue has mushroomed over the last few years and many experts believe it will only be a matter of time before the vast majority of insurance companies and financial companies will insist on separate ID theft insurance policies.
If we look at this logically, as the cost of ID theft continues to grow, both in the business and the consumer sectors, policyholders will at some stage have to pay the price of these increased costs. If you look at any insurance market in years gone by they often start very small with promotional and complementary insurance terms written in to existing policies. However, as the threat of financial loss continues to grow it is inevitable that insurance companies will at some stage shift all or a percentage of this increased liability onto the customer.
Instances of significant identification theft crimes are appearing in the press on a regular basis and more and more of these are including homes, businesses, loans, credit cards and liabilities which in many cases reach six figures. Homes have been lost and sold, credit cards have been "maxed out" and loans have been taken out without the underlying person in questions knowledge. The threat is real, the threat is growing and while ID theft insurance is a relatively new market it is one which is sure to grow in the months and years ahead.
Those who ignore the threat of identification theft scams and fraudulent activity are "food and drink to the criminal fraternity".