Why advisors should be up-to-date on ID theftArticle added by Aziz Soomro,LUTCF on March 8, 2016
Aziz Soomro, LUTCF

Aziz Soomro,LUTCF

Houston, TX

Joined: September 20, 2012

My Company

In November 2008 I was assisting 20-year veteran CPA to add insurance division into his practice, when I caught a glimpse of CPA Today Magazines piled up in the visitors area of his office right at the entrance. It was Nov/Dec issue and asked his permission to take it with me because as a business advisor it was important to me to keep my ears on the ground to better serve my family and business clients.

The write up I read was just one page long, yet was very comprehensive and helpful on the subject of ID Theft. It said it was number one crime (second only to illegal drugs) since 2003 according to USA Today in March 2008. The writer did a great job in educating CPAs on FACTA, which was signed into law on Dec 4 2003 by President Bush. It encouraged every CPA to assist their clients by complying and having some procedures in place to avoid Federal and State Penalties.

Interestingly enough, in early 2007 Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) wrote a two-page advisory to businesses across the U.S. with the title of "Employers face five types of liabilities," in which they educated employers on how many types of ID Theft existed that most people were not aware of.

Here is the list which they cited, which does not include children and seniors.
    1. Social Security,

    2. Drivers License,

    3. Medical,

    4. Criminal and Character
They also pointed out that most identity theft starts at work and there are these five main causes of data breaches at work:
    1. Disgruntled or dishonest staff,

    2. Untrained or careless employees,

    3. Lost or stolen Laptops,

    4. Service Providers, Contractors and visitors.

    5. Hackers.
There is great, free educational information available on www.ftc.gov for consumers as well as advisors to be better prepared.

While most ID theft plans have coverage like: alert, credit monitoring, freeze or lock, consultation and big eye catcher benefit of million dollar reimbursement these are lacking important benefit of "true restoration. I feel fortunate to witness from the onset in 2003, when Kroll Inc, a global leader in the industry of risk management and investigation since 1972, whose clients are fortune 500 Companies, U.S. government, foreign countries, and such, partnered up with Legal Shield to provide comprehensive ID theft plans.

The CPA article as well as SHRM article did suggest employers train their employees and have a statement of understanding placed in their personal employment files to avoid future liabilities. This all could be accomplished simultaneously and takes no more than hour and is win win for all. All of this is at no cost for the business, because the compensation, if any, comes out of employees getting volunteer benefit on payroll deduct basis.

I hope everyone takes time to look into this to fight the new number one crime for last 13 years by getting familiar with ID theft plans.
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