August 26, 2015

How Identity Theft Protection Is Part Of Best Financial Planning

More and more financial planning professionals are taking the time to educate their clients about the very real threat of identity theft.  Some are even incorporating identity theft protection services into their standard business practices.  While identity theft statistics report identity theft numbers rising every year, putting a protection plan in place along with tax planning, investment, and benefit programs is crucial to the future well-being of your credit history and finances.

Identity Protection An Automatic Part Of Financial Planning

Financial planning professionals offer consumers a variety of services ranging from insurance protection, to estate planning, to tax preparation.  Many full service financial advisors see clients with concerns over identity protection every day.  The rate at which identities are stolen in this country is staggering, (about one every three seconds).

FTC Identity Theft vs. Government Benefits Fraud

Most people understand the, “identity theft definition” to apply to the theft of personal information such as account numbers, passwords, and identifying information for the purposes of fraudulent use.  Many people realize that criminals use this information to purchase goods and services at their expense.  Because identity theft involves trade and commerce, the Federal Trade Commission, (FTC) aggressively investigates these cases, ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft.

What is identity theft for other purposes?

Many consumers aren’t aware that thieves also use their personal information to obtain government benefits.  These include disability benefits, unemployment benefits and Social Security pension funds.  Some thieves apply for medical benefits through major health insurance carriers and pose as other people to receive treatment, operations, and even cosmetic procedures as well. 

Others use fraudulently obtained Social Security numbers to gain employment and employee benefits.  The uses for personal information are many in this country, and the market for stolen identification is only growing.

Identity Theft Reviews—The Right Theft Protection For You

Financial planners help their clients with a variety of financial planning issues.  These include coordinating wills, powers of attorney and healthcare plans, as well as investing earnings for the future.  Each of these planning services charges fees for their time and expertise in a particular area.    

Clients seeking identity theft protection can either obtain protection services through their planning service directly, or from other resources including credit bureaus and BestCredit.net.  Some major financial institutions also offer theft protection services, such as “Chase Identity Protection” through JP Morgan Chase & Co.  These services help protect consumer accounts for example, through Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption for online transactions, and paperless statements. 

They also encourage email access through an encrypted secure message center only and request that customers do not provide specific detailed account information in email correspondence as well.  Many banks also provide consumer education and information on their websites, instructing customers on breaches of security, account protection and how to report identity theft.   

Compare Identity Theft Programs For The Best Identity Theft Protection

It’s important to compare identity theft plans and services before committing to one particular program.  There are a wide variety of identity protection services at different price points for consumers.  These range from basic credit monitoring to more enhanced products and programs.  Each service provides a particular level of safety or convenience to meet consumer needs.  An individual with newly established credit for example may require different theft protection than a consumer who has been a previous victim of identity theft.

With the crime of identity theft steadily rising in this country, more and more companies are looking for ways to protect consumers.  What once was an occasional occurrence has now become a national epidemic affecting millions of people each year.  Because of this, financial planning professionals have made identity protection a priority in account management.