The Richmond Register

January 4, 2014

Identity theft can affect your job

By Jennifer Napier
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — “I have wanted this job for so long. I can’t believe I’m finally going to get the chance to work for this company,” you share with a friend.

“I will work harder than anyone else. They’ll definitely want to keep me after the 90 day probation period is over.”

A month later, a long weekend has arrived. You’re driving and it’s late. You are several miles across the state line on your way to visit a friend, when you notice flashing lights quickly approaching your car.

You glance down and realize you may have been speeding. You pull over and wait. The officer cautiously approaches your car, asks for your driver’s license, and then performs a quick check. The officer immediately returns and places you under arrest.

You’re taken to jail. Your car is impounded. You won’t go before a judge until Monday morning.

What just happened? Why were you arrested? What’s going to happen when you don’t show up for your shift at work on Monday morning? You’re so far from home and scared.

Most people think identity theft only affects their bank account or credit cards, but they’re wrong. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time.

Identity theft can present itself in numerous ways, such as: credit fraud, medical fraud, social security fraud, criminal/character fraud and driver’s license fraud.

It is the fastest growing crime in America and has the ability to impact lives overnight.

You never thought about the impact that identity theft could have on you, your job or your life. You always viewed identity theft as a crime that happened to other people.

It wasn’t until after you were arrested and ended up losing your dream job due to missing days of work during probation that you decided to learn more about full impact identity theft can have in someone’s life.

When it comes to employment, identity theft can cause major problems. Many employers perform background checks as part of the pre-hire screening process.

An issue may appear on your records that you had no idea was there, because it was created by an identity thief. The result – you don’t get job offers and never know why.

If you’re a victim of credit fraud, you could have bill collectors contacting you and court judgments issued against you, which could lead to your paycheck and/or bank accounts being affected.

A case of criminal, character or driver’s license fraud could leave you in serious trouble as in the story above. All of these issues can cost you a lot of time and money to resolve, and ultimately could cost you your job from taking time off to appear in court or clear your name.

Don’t let your career take a nose dive because of an identity thief. Monitor your identity closely and regularly.

Know what your rights are. Maintain a legal and identity theft coverage plan that you trust, so that when the unthinkable happens, you’ll have the resources available and won’t have to face the crisis alone.

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