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Don’t Fall Prey to Identity Theft

By Scott Culver
Communications Specialist
WEA Trust

November 2004

Frank W. Abagnale, a reformed thief and author of “Catch Me If You Can” writes, “I don’t know of any crime that’s easier – and easier to get away with – than identity theft.”

Identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in America. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that over the past five years, 27 million Americans – one in eight adults – have had their identities stolen. In the last year alone, almost 10 million Americans were victims of identity theft – an increase of 41% over the year before – at a cost to the U.S. economy of nearly $53 billion.

Could this happen to you? You bet. There is no way to know who will be a victim of identity theft. It can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, economic status, or race.

Victims of identity theft are seldom liable for excessive charges incurred under their name. However, there is a cost. They are stuck with the task of clearing their credit reports, correcting their financial statuses, and regaining control of their identities. On average, it takes nearly two years, $800 out-of-pocket costs, and 175 hours to clean up the mess.

Homeowners insurance can help reclaim identity
If you have homeowners insurance with WEA Trust Member Benefits, you have identity theft coverage included in your policy this year. The policy provides up to $10,000 coverage for expenses you may incur as a result of identity theft activities. This includes costs associated with the use of an identity theft recovery service to help straighten out your credit records and reclaim your identity, as well as out-of-pocket costs such as long-distance telephone charges, fees for notarizing documents, and application fees.

“We feel this coverage is important enough to make it a standard feature in our policy. We are always looking for ways to serve members better, and we think WEAC members will appreciate the added protection,” said Dave Kijek, vice president of the personal insurance services for WEA Trust Member Benefits.

If you would like more information about the Trust’s homeowners insurance program and identity theft coverage, call 1-800-279-4010.

Posted October 26, 2004

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