GEICO says know the signs of identity theft

Washington, D.C., March 31, 2015 – GEICO wants to remind you that your personal information is at risk from a multitude of sources. Identity thieves are hard at work attempting to steal your identity for monetary gain. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that 13 million people have been the victim of an identity theft, costing consumers more than 18 billion dollars.

The GEICO Insurance Agency offers some tips to help you recognize the signs of identity theft.

How thieves get your information

Identity thieves will use any possible means to gain access to your information. They will rummage through your garbage or the trash of businesses and public dumps. They will contact you by phone or email and pretend to work for legitimate companies, medical offices or government agencies in an attempt to convince you to reveal your personal information. Identity thieves will also hack into your personal computer and mobile devices as a way to steal your information.

What thieves do with your identity

Once your personal information has been compromised, identity thieves can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, open new utility accounts, or get medical treatment on your health insurance using your name. An identity thief can file a tax refund in your name and get your refund. In some extreme cases, a thief might even give your name to the police during an arrest.

Signs that someone has stolen your identity

  • There are unexplained withdrawals from your bank account.
  • You stop receiving your bills and other sensitive mail.
  • You receive calls from debt collectors about bills that you aren't familiar with.
  • Unfamiliar accounts and charges appear on your credit report.
  • You are billed for medical services you didn't use.
  • The IRS notifies you that dual tax returns have been filed in your name.

What should you do if your information has been compromised?

If your wallet, Social Security card, or other personal, financial or account information are lost or stolen, contact the credit reporting companies and place a fraud alert on your credit file. Periodically check your bank and other account statements for unusual activity. Identity theft protection services can help protect your identity and put other proactive measures in place to monitor financial accounts, credit reports and personal information. For more information, visit https://www.geico.com/information/aboutinsurance/id-theft/.

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 14 million private passenger customers and insures more than 23 million vehicles (auto & cycle).

Using GEICO's online service center, policyholders can purchase policies, make policy changes, report claims and print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through the GEICO App, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent.

GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), boats, travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.

For more information, go to www.geico.com.