5 Life Events That Can Lead to Identity Theft

Many people only think of identity theft when they are notified of a security breach or have their wallet stolen. Although these events do increase your risk of identity theft, there are a number of even more common life events that put you at risk. Events in your life that involve a lot of paperwork and exchanging personal information such as getting married, buying a home or having a child can expose your personal information to identity thieves.

Here are some of the common life events that can lead to identity theft and some tips for how you can protect yourself:

Break-ins
Whether it’s your car or your home that is broken into, a thief can gain access to personal information to steal your identity. Gathering information like your full name and address, driver’s registration or personal mail with account numbers or other sensitive information is often the prime target of a break-in.

Getting Married
This is another occasion where a lot of personal information is being exchanged in multiple places. Providing your social security number or other sensitive information puts you at risk of exposing your information to an identity thief.

Searching for a New Job
Not only do you share a lot of personal information online when you are searching for a job, you also put yourself at risk for phishing scams from fake job posters interested in taking more of your personal information.

Having a Baby
The social security numbers of children are in high demand since thieves can take advantage of their perfect credit history and open accounts in secret for many years before it is noticed.

Buying or Selling a Home
Few life events require you to fill out as many forms or release as much personal data to multiple sources as buying a home. Although financial institutions typically are good at protecting personal information, when you deal with so many different lenders and banks it’s hard to know how your information is being handled.

Since most of us will experience at least one of these events in a lifetime, it’s important to know how to protect yourself.

  • Check your credit report regularly, especially after one of these life events
  • Don’t give out sensitive information if you aren’t aware of why it’s needed or how it will be protected
  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi networks when logging into accounts or filling out paperwork online
  • Don’t reveal too many details on social media sites, especially on public accounts, regarding your wedding, honeymoon plans or your child’s birth

Members of a group legal plan also have access to identity theft assistance to help them resolve issues or get tips on how to keep their information safe during these life events.

Legal plan members can visit members.legalplans.com for more information on their identity theft coverage.