Identity theft is getting creative… don’t fall for it!

You’ve probably seen the latest trend gone viral where you can get a glimpse of what you’ll look like in 30 years. “Face App” has gained popularity after celebrities like Carrie Underwood, Drake, LeBron James and Taylor Swift posted filtered photos of themselves on social media portraying an aged image with grey hair and wrinkles. While it may be the first time there’s been humor surrounding looking older, it also revealed some warnings of identity theft by the parent company based out of Russia. There may only be a few quick boxes to check when downloading an app like this but agreeing to terms you haven’t read is never a good choice.

In this example, anyone that agreed to the company’s terms allowed access to their photos and full licensing to use the photos however they’d like without any permission or the ability to take legal action. Driving along a highway and seeing your face on a billboard that you weren’t aware of is a scary thought, right? Even worse, that headshot could potentially be used for photo recognition allowing access to your bank account or personal information. Even the newest iPhone unlocks based on your smiling face.

This isn’t intended to call anyone out or make you worry if you were curious enough to check out your best Grandma or Grandpa look…. But it is a peek at what is happening out there in regards to identity theft.

Not necessarily for Face App issues, but there is a simple step you can take when it comes to ID theft and your insurance. Identity theft insurance is intended to cover the expenses, typically up to $25,000, related to restoring your identity and credit score (if applicable), not the amount of stolen funds. Such expenses may include: costs of executing affidavits, notary and certified mailing costs, application fees for re-applying for loan(s), reasonable attorney fees and loss of income resulting from time taken off work to complete theft/fraud paperwork.

Identity theft insurance can be added to your property insurance policy (home or renters), or possibly even your auto insurance policy, for approximately $50/year.

Tips for avoiding identity theft:

  • Keep the amount of personal information you carry to a minimum
  • Make sure you have up to date firewall, anti-spyware and anti-virus programs installed on your computer AND phone
  • Carefully monitor your bank and credit card accounts on a regular basis, as well as your credit report
  • Passwords should always be unique and never the same password used for multiple accounts/logins
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi when possible
  • Shred any personal documents or statements that you dispose of
  • Check for updates to social media privacy policies that you may not have been notified of

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