Identity Theft (part 1)

Michelle Bertram and Beverly Bertram are financial advisors living in Mineral Point WI and serving the surrounding communities. Michelle Bertram does financial planning for retirees along with business consulting. Beverly Bertram specializes in retirement planning and income planning for her clients. Michelle Bertram and Beverly Bertram are authors of the book, Creating You DREAM Retirement and creators of the DREAM Retirement Process. Serving Madison WI, Verona WI, Mount Horeb WI, Barneveld WI, Dodgeville WI, Dubuque IA, Platteville WI, Lancaster WI, Cuba City WI, Fennimore WI, Darlington WI, Monroe WI, Spring Green WI, Black Earth WI and beyondThis topic has been on our minds for a while, but we had to do something after learning what happened to John. It was…

The Most Upsetting, Emotional, and Time-Consuming Event Of His Life – The Theft of His Identity!

First, let us tell you a bit about John. He’s an average American, just like us. He worked a steady job, paid his bills on time, takes care of his family and is enjoying retirement, or was….

Unfortunately, his perfect world was shaken when his worst nightmare came true: his identity was stolen by a twenty-year-old man who steadily ruined John’s life one purchase at a time.

In just four short months he spent more than $265,000. He made purchases under John’s name at Lowes, Home Depot, Sears, and JCPenney. He bought two cars from a Ford dealership, and Harley Davidson and Kawasaki motorcycles. By the time John found out it was too late.

“It keeps coming,” John said about his experience. “It keeps coming and you don’t have any choice but to deal with it.”

Over the next few years, John spent more than 2,000 hours of his own time trying to clear his name and get things squared away with creditors. His home office became a “shrine of suffering,” where he devised his own filing system to track his efforts to clear his name.

But it wasn’t enough. John was still personally liable for more than $140,000 of debt racked up by someone else under his name. John’s story chilled us to the bone when we realized how many millions of people just like John are affected by identity theft every year. It’s the fastest growing crime in America, Every 2 Seconds Someone Becomes A Victim Of Identity Theft.

In fact, people are four times more likely to have their identity stolen than they are to have a baby! Only about four million babies were born in the United States last year, while over 16.7 million people had their identities stolen. And believe it or not, the fastest-growing demographic for identity theft are children, with more than one million victims last year alone.

The truth is, identity thieves, do not care about your age, sex, or race. We just read a story about a three-week-old baby receiving collection notices! And Richard Overton, the oldest living American at 112 years old had his identity stolen.

You can find more stories like these on the Internet. They are scary. But we’re not sharing them to scare you. We just want to alert you to how real and serious identity theft is. It’s a worldwide epidemic. And for many, it’s not a question of if their identity will be stolen, but when.

Stay tuned next week for how to protect your identity!