Reports of identity theft among members of the military and their families are on the rise, and it’s a sad testament to just how low thieves are willing to stoop. Our nation’s armed forces are filled with dedicated individuals who put their lives on the line for freedom, and falling victim to a crime involving their personally identifiable information is unthinkable.
Part of what has made members of the military such a sought after target is the very nature of their jobs. Thieves know that moving from place to place for different active duty and reserve assignments means frequent changes of address which might not alert credit card companies’ computer systems to a new address associated with an account. Being deployed for service or training obligations can mean that soldiers are away from computer and phone access for long periods of time, and wouldn’t be as likely to notice a fraudulent charge, let alone alert their account providers.
A recent case in Alabama involved nine members of an organized ID theft ring who purposely sought employment in places like Ft. Benning’s hospital in order to steal the identities of soldiers who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Their crimes—resulting in the theft of over $20 million—demonstrates just how reprehensible these people are willing to be.
The ITRC will address these issues and how to protect yourself in its upcoming Twitter chat on Thursday, August 7th, at 11:00am PDT. Co-hosts BBB Military Line and Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve will join the discussion, which will focus on the following questions:
Are members of the military more at risk for identity theft? Why?
What are some current scams targeting the military?
Can identity theft affect your military career? How?
How can individuals about to deploy protect themselves from identity theft?
What are some red flags that you may be a victim of identity theft?
What should you do if you become a victim of identity theft?
What are some resources for the military to protect themselves from identity theft?
In order to participate in the chat, simply log in to Twitter from any active account and follow the #IDTheftChat hashtag. Remember to include this hashtag in all of your tweets so that your questions and comments appear for the group. No special membership or software is required to attend this informative discussion, other than to connect to the hashtag at the correct date and time through your own Twitter account. For your convenience, you can also use the #IDTheftChat TweetChat room by clicking at http://tweetchat.com/room/IDTheftChat for access to the event. You also have the option to RSVP one the IDTheftChat anyvite.
Be sure to follow the Identity Theft Resource Center on Twitter at @ITRCSD for all of the latest up-to-date information on protecting your identity.