Jerry Jones CPA
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a CPA that you deal directly with, that understands your business, that works in all 50 states and is there for you when you need him?
“For more than 30 years I have relied on Jerry to provide me with critical guidance for both investment decisions and tax strategies. His opinions have been crucial in helping me make the best possible business decisions, as well as providing me with sound advice regarding personal tax planning”.
Steve T., Taxpayer

5 Frightening Things Thieves Can Do with Your Identity

Maybe you love shopping online. Or, maybe you prefer to use your debit card to make purchases in the store. No matter how you leave your digital footprint, you – and virtually everyone else who's not completely off the grid – are at risk of falling victim to identity theft. In fact, nearly 16.7 million American consumers have had their identities compromised, according to a 2018 identity fraud report. Maybe this does not come as a surprise, but have you really considered all the risks associated with identity theft?Sure, there are some telltale signs that your identity has been compromised. But, in an ever-changing digital landscape, it is important to note the unusual but frightening ways thieves can use a stolen identity for their own financial gain.

1. Open a New Credit Card Account

Instead of stealing your own credit card to make purchases, a thief may use your name and Social Security number to open random accounts. Because these fraudulent charges won't appear on your current bank statement, you may not notice right away. Only when your credit report takes a plunge will you notice that a criminal has accumulated debt in your name. The good news, however, is that getting rid of fraudulent credit accounts in your name is entirely possible.

2. File Your Taxes

With access to your name and Social Security number (sensing a common theme?), an identity thief can file a fake tax return and collect your hard-earned refund. You won't notice until your real return is rejected, but you can help combat this by filing your taxes early so that criminals have less time to do so.

3. Commit Crimes in Your Name

Sound like your worst nightmare? Believe it or not, this does happen – albeit rarely. During an investigation, criminals can use your identity to get off scot-free for a crime you did not commit. In fact, wanted criminals can use your name and insert their own picture to spin up a fake ID, enabling them to begin a new life. Criminals may also sign a citation in your name if caught with a traffic violation. Guess who gets stuck with the hefty fines? What's more, a thief can use your personal information during an arrest, which could leave you with a criminal record or worse, a warrant for your arrest you don't even know about.

4. Take Over Your Social or Email Accounts and Impersonate You

If a thief manages to hack or social engineer your email password, he or she probably has access to your social media, too. Why? Because many people use the same password across the board for all their personal accounts. As such, identity thieves may send messages to your contacts and use your reputation to trick people into sending them money, among other phishing scams.

5. Seek Medical Care in Your Name

A thief can get ahold of your health insurance card and identity at large to receive medical attention under your name. Once this gets placed into your medical records, you can most likely look forward to higher insurance rates or even footing the bill.

By Taylor White, Click here to read more

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