I asked Scott Mitic, CEO of TrustedID some
questions about identify theft. TrustedID is a company specializing in
helping companies not be a target of identify theft attacks, and
helping them mitigate damages from a breach in security leading to
It appears that identify theft (the awareness of it) goes and comes. Is it always a threat or is it a “seasonal” threat?
It does seem like we are hearing more about identity theft today
than we have in the past and that’s because identity theft continues to
grow and affect more people every day. Last year alone over 250 million
identities were compromised. That’s almost every American adult in this
country. While there seems like there are times when identity theft is
more in the news than others, the threat exists everyday.
are so many ways to have one’s identify stolen – ATM machines, web
sites, email, postal mail and more. How can one keep up?
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for individuals to not only
keep up but stay ahead. Identity thieves are becoming much more
sophisticated in their methods and unfortunately without a service that
provides advanced protection using technology and sophisticated
monitoring solutions it is very difficult to keep your identity safe on
What are the figures on identity theft? How many identities stolen a year? How many from businesses?
There are over nine million identities reported stolen every year,
or one every two seconds. The Identity Theft Resource Center, the
country’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to identity theft
prevention, estimates the cost to businesses due to identity theft in
2007 at $49 billion. In a report by the Center for Identity Management
& Information Protection, 50% of the cases identity theft they
studied could be tracked back to information lost by a business.
With many businesses working from their home offices, does this affect how secure or insecure a business is?
In many cases, your identity is as secure as the places where you
store it. If your home office is well-organized – important information
locked up, limited access by people other than you, and passwords to
protect your computer – you may be just as safe as you would be working
in a more formal office environment. If, on the other hand, you share a
computer at home with kids who download software (and possible
malware), your financial information gets spread across tables in reach
of babysitters or housecleaners, and you don’t own a home shredder, you
could be putting yourself and your business at significant risk.
If one has their identity stolen what should one do?
As a first step, place fraud alerts on you personal credit reports,
to give you and your business extra protection against a thief opening
new credit accounts in your name. Immediately notify any institutions
impacted by the theft you are a victim. Contact law enforcement if the
crime results in losses greater than $500 in value, so they can provide
you with a police report. This documentation may be important later as
you try to restore your identity to good standing.
Is all identity theft equal? Meaning – are some thefts not as bad as others?