NCFB Member Service Helps Identity Theft Victims
Imagine being declined for a mortgage or vehicle loan because your credit is suddenly riddled with late payments, collection accounts, delinquent loans, and dozens of maxed-out credit cards – none of which are yours. But it doesn’t stop there. Your personal and health insurance information has been used by someone to obtain medical treatment, surgeryand prescription drugs under your identity. Welcome to the nightmare that is identity theft.
This type of fraud is the fastest growing crime in America and topped the list of complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission for the 11th straight year in 2010. According to Javelin Strategy and Research, a group that studies identity theft statistics, there were 10 million victims of identity theft in the U.S. in 2008. One out of every 10 U.S. consumers has been affected by identity theft.
Identity theft is also one of the most difficult crimes from which to recover. John Harrison was featured in a “CBS Evening News” story about identity theft. The Connecticut salesman reported having spent over 2,000 hours trying to reclaim his life after having his identity stolen.
“I had to come up with a filing system,” Harrison says of his efforts to clear his name. Harrison was the victim of a 20-year-old identity thief who made fraudulent purchases totaling $265,000 in four months. Even though the thief was arrested and prosecuted, Harrison was still harassed by creditors. “It keeps coming,” Harrison says,“and you don’t have a choice but to deal with it.”
Harrison’s story is not uncommon. According to a CNN/Money report, an identity theft victim can spend anywhere between 30 and 600 hours restoring their credit. That is between four and 75 full workdays. Most people would be hard-pressed to find that much time to devote to clearing their identity.
Luckily, membership in North Carolina Farm Bureau does not cost; it pays! Now, there is one more way membership is providing value and serving families across North Carolina. As part of the many benefits included in annual membership dues, Identity Theft Consultation and Restoration Services* covers all family members in the household.
How does the program work?
If you suspect that your identity has been compromised, call 1-800-789-2565 to report the breach to a trained member service specialist.
- A thorough assessment of your unique situation will be performed to determine the nature and extent of the breach.
- Once a determination has been made that your identity has been compromised, you will be assigned a Personal Recovery Advocate and a case file will be opened.
- Utilizing a Limited Power of Attorney, the Personal Recovery Advocate will work on your behalf to restore your identity to pre-theft status.
- The Personal Recovery Advocate will remain assigned to you for as long as it takes to restore your identity to pre-theft status.
- The case file is kept for three years in the event that additional issues arise from the original identity theft.
*Program is not identity theft protection, an insurance product or credit monitoring.
*Identity Theft Consultation & Restoration,like Accidental Death & Dismemberment, is a benefit of membership in North Carolina Farm Bureau.