The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that more than 10 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2008, and the FTC expects more sophisticated schemes to occur in 2009.
It’s a subject that hits close to home for ERIE Agent Rod Buskirk of Maryland. For him, identity theft was more than a possibility. It was a reality. Here’s his story:
How did you find out your identity had been stolen?
“My wife and I went to purchase a new car. The dealership told me that I had two judgments on my credit report. I knew something was wrong because I had great credit.”
What did the thief do with your information?
“After talking to the credit bureaus and obtaining documentation, I found out that the thief was renting an apartment in my name in West Virginia—I live in Maryland. The credit bureau insisted it was me because there was an application on file that had my name, Social Security number and signature on it.”
How did you restore your identity?
“I spent three months talking to people on the phone and making trips to the courthouse. It took a lot of time and legwork. Luckily I was able to send photos of myself to the landlord who put the judgment on my credit report to prove it wasn’t me who signed the lease. Otherwise, I would have had to travel to West Virginia and pay close to $4,000 to get the judgments off of my credit report.”
Did you have ERIE’s Identity Recovery Coverage at the time?
“At the time, no, I didn’t. I do now!”
What’s the value of this coverage?
“Having your identity stolen is extremely frustrating. It was horrible being told that it was me who signed the applications. ERIE’s Identity Recovery Coverage can save people countless phone calls, hours of work and money.”
Want to learn more?
ERIE’s Identity Recovery Coverage can be added as an endorsement to an ERIE homeowners policy. Give your Agent a call for details.