Identity theft is a growing threat due to data breaches and hacking incidents on the rise. Due to this growing trend, identity theft protection is quickly becoming as important as home or auto coverage. Many employers looking to attract and retain top talent have been adding identity theft protection to the company’s benefit offerings. With 12.7 million US adults falling victim to identity theft in 2014, your employees can be at risk.1
Identity theft has grown to more than just using someone’s credit card or taking out credit cards in someone’s name. Criminals may use the stolen identity to obtain a driver’s license and other documents and to commit fraud. In these cases, sorting out the situation requires much more than simply canceling credit cards and opening new accounts.
Victims of ID theft sometimes spend hundreds of hours trying to resolve problems that arise when their name, Social Security number, credit card numbers and other financial information are used to commit fraud. Lasting effects for victims of identity theft include debt collector calls, denial on new credit requests, closed credit cards, loan denial, utilities being cut off, criminal investigation or civil suit and difficulties obtaining or accessing bank accounts. From a productivity perspective, any employee who is a victim of identity theft and trying to address the resulting problems is unlikely to be fully focused on his or her work.
ID theft protection services can provide counselors to walk victims through the process. Some services provide access to network attorneys but not all reimburse for losses incurred. In addition, companies can help employees protect themselves from identity theft with education about the basics of identity theft, how to monitor their personal records for evidence of fraud or theft, and about what steps to take to rectify the situation.