It’s been reported through news and other social media that when a disaster strikes, all sorts of scam artists appear out of the blue attempting to capitalize on the disaster, targeting the most vulnerable populations.
Let’s use the case of the Anthem cyberattack in which identity thieves gained unauthorized access to Anthem’s IT system to obtain thousands of social security numbers, names, birth dates, addresses, and other types of personal information.
Here come the scam artists climbing out of the woodwork who portray themselves to be IDENTITY THEFT RECOVERY professionals. For a $35.00 monthly fee withdrawn automatically from your checking or savings account, they will help you recover your identity should you become a victim of Identity Theft. They claim to be able to provide you with the best legal assistance and do all the necessary paperwork for you to help you clear your good name.
But if you’re not careful and you don’t thoroughly research the company you hire, here’s what can happen to YOU:
1. You become trapped in the membership. You have no way to reach anyone by phone, mail, or email because they don’t have a legitimate business address, and they’ll keep withdrawing money out of your account.
2. Your legal counsel is in a distant state which prevents you from meeting with your ID Theft Recovery Lawyer during this most chaotic time.
3. You learn that instead of this company helping you in your time of need, the company wants to recruit you to help them sell their Identity Theft Recovery Plan to others. (a Pyramid scheme)
4. They don’t provide ANY services at all unless you pay ADDITIONAL FEES which are much higher. There are many companies that are legitimate and have good reputations, such as LifeLock and AllClear ID, just to name a few, who can assist you in every way possible. Find the company and the program that is right for you by calling each one and having them send written literature. The time you spend doing this will give you the peace of mind you need and deserve.
From the desk of Jane Constant
Senior Relations Specialist
Nashua Police Department