Whether you are simply curious or have recently learned that you are a victim, this section of the Maine Identity Services, LLC, web site is designed to provide you with information about identity theft and the ways we help victims.
A recent survey showed that one in every three Mainers is a victim of identity theft every year. What used to be a single crime involving credit card fraud has now grown into a broader category of crimes that include:
A high number of identity thefts nationally involve the use of the victim’s information to file a fraudulent income tax return and claim a refund from the IRS. These returns are filed electronically with the refund directed to an address or bank far from the victim’s actual residence.
There also has been an alarming increase in identity theft using children’s information. One recent national study found that one in every ten children had personal information used by identity thieves.
Businesses and organizations also can be victims of identity theft. Identity thieves use the good name of established businesses or organizations to commit fraud via false purchase orders, bank checks or other means.
Federal and state laws have been created to protect victims of identity theft and to make sure that creditors follow clear steps with specific deadlines to investigate the crime. Under these laws, the creditors are required to inform the victim about the results of their investigation when it has been completed.
Identity theft is often confused with scams and data breaches. Here is the difference: A victim may be contacted in an attempt to have the victim reveal his/her private financial information (or to send money to the scammer.) This is a scam. By giving the scammer private identifying information, the victim has created a breach of his/her information (data breach.) This does not become identity theft until someone who is not authorized to do so uses the victim’s information to obtain money, goods or services. Please refer to the examples below to see if you have been a victim of identity theft.
|Situation||ID Theft||Scam||Data Breach|
|Someone has used your bank account or credit card without your authorization.||X|
|Someone has used your information to obtain credit or open an account.||X|
|Someone contacted you and tricked you into sending them money.||X|
|Someone contacted you and tricked you into giving them your information.||X|
|Someone has used your information to file a tax return.||X|
|Someone has used your information to open an account with a utility company or cell phone provider.||X|
|A company contacted you to let you know about a computer hacking incident.||X|
|You have learned that the name of your business was used in a fraudulent transaction.||X|
|You have learned that someone used your information to obtain credit when you were a child.||X|
|Someone contacted you to inform you that you have a won a lottery or sweepstakes.||X|
Maine Identity Services, LLC, was formed to provide three types of services:
If you are interested in arranging for an identity theft speaker at your next meeting or conference, please call us toll free at 1-855-4 ME ID HELP (1-855-463-4343) or send an e-mail to us at info@MeIDHelp.com.
If you are a member of a police department, please visit the police section of our web site for detailed information. If you would like to arrange training for your department, please contact us toll free at 1-855-4 ME ID HELP (1-855-463-4343) or by sending us an e-mail at info@MeIDHelp.com.
Specific Help for Victims
Victims of identity theft often don’t know how to begin to clear their names. There is a great deal of information available to them, but sometimes the amount of information is overwhelming and victims need a clear, step by step plan to follow based on the individual situation.
Typical questions we answer for victims are:
We have seen all types of identity theft, ranging from the creation of a false criminal record, to the use of a company’s information to defraud a supplier. We are experienced in helping people because our staff has helped hundreds of identity theft victims.
We provide identity theft victims with our ME ID HELP© kit which includes the information you need to dispute the theft of your identity. The information we provide includes step by step detailed instructions and a timetable which will show what you need to do and when you can expect to receive a response. Your HELP KIT© will include details that can make a big difference in the amount of time (and effort) required to resolve the theft of your identity.
If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft, order your Help Kit today.
This step-by-step kit includes the information you need to handle any type of identity theft from the time you first learn that you have been victim through the steps involved in disputing the fraud.
Included in your kit are:
The most appreciated part of our ME ID HELP© KIT is the information we share based on our experience. These helpful hints can save identity theft victims hours of frustrating work and usually make it simpler and easier to dispute the identity theft.
The basic ME ID HELP© KIT sells for $65.00 and can be purchased after speaking with us by following the link below: