Fraudsters are increasingly using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as a “hunting ground” for personal information, leading to huge rise in identity theft, according to a new report.

It comes as no surprise that many cyber criminals are opportunistic and motivated solely by financial gain. In 2014, two-thirds of identity theft victims experienced direct financial loss–which is the amount the criminal obtained from misusing the victim’s account or personal information–with victims reporting an average loss of £7,761. In total, identity theft victims lost £15.4 billion in 2016 worldwide.

What about recovering from identity theft?

“All you have to do is call your bank about any fraudulent charges, right? Or just sign up for an identity theft protection program in advance.” That sounds good, but the reality is that the identity theft recovery process is long and arduous, and you could end up losing much more money in the process than you thought. You could lose money to:

Legal Fees:

Many identity theft victims will hire an attorney to help investigate and resolve your identity theft case. According to CRE, Criminal Defense Lawyers, estimated that the cost to hire a lawyer can easily be at least £2,500. Found this fact surprising?

Late Fees and Penalties:

If your bank account was emptied out by a cyber criminal, there’s a chance that you could miss a payment on your credit card, monthly rent, and a number of other expenses. For example, if you pay your credit card bill just one day late, you could pay £25-£35 with the possibility of incurring more debt each day. Identity theft can also impact your credit long after the incident has occurred. For example, your interest rates could increase to an annual percentage rate (APR) as high as 29.99 percent!

Insurance:

Identity theft victims would want to take every precaution possible to make sure an incident never occurs again. One such precaution is purchasing identity theft protection and insurance. “After people have become a victim of identity theft they spend around £25-£60 on insurance every year to protect their credit cards and accounts,” says Howard Dvorkin, CPA and Chairman of Debt.com. Would you pay up to £60 a year for identity theft insurance?

Identity Theft Recovery Service:

To restore any damage to your credit score had on your loans, housing, employment, and other financial situations, victims may also consider hiring a credit consulting or restoration service. Typically, Identity Theft restoration experts will spend around £5,000 to return an identity to pre-theft status and will look for all potential misuses of a person’s identity including checking government records, the black market, criminal databases, DMV records, etc.. Victims who subscribe to identity theft restoration programs typically pay around £100 per month out of pocket for at least 12 months in order to improve their credit scores. Restoring your credit with a credit consulting service could cost you over £1,200!

Read the full article at: contractreviewexperts.co.uk