Children’s clothing, hair salons, expensive leather high heels, and other women’s clothing. For Collin Jeffries, the aforementioned all showed up on his credit card statement like normal purchases. The only problem? He is a 24 year old man from Philadelphia, who sports a shaved head and has no children. Jeffries was one of the over 70 million Sony consumers who had their personal information revealed via internet hacking criminals looking to steal identities.
In the previous part of this two part blog post, we detailed a story that has been plastered across news outlets over the last few months -Sony’s PlayStation Network and PlayStation Store’s lack of property online security. This failure to keep up with ever-savvy internet hackers on Sony’s behalf has wrecked havoc on the company and their customers. Customers, who were using the above mentioned Sony products in order to stream media online, paid for it by entering personal information like credit card numbers and addresses.
“I never thought for a minute that my information would be comprised,” explains Jeffries. The identity theft victim goes on, “A company that big, you would think it would be secure, but hackers are just too smart.” And, unfortunately, Jeffries is right -hackers just simply are too smart. For every way that a website or online company discovers to keep information from being compromised, hackers are already ten steps ahead.
Because the criminals who prey upon the people online looking to gain banking account information are so very clever, a constant credit monitoring service is almost necessary to protect yourself. Jeffries had no idea money was taken out of his account until his rent check bounced. He says, “I had no clue it happened until my rent check bounced… So my landlord was mad and I had an overdrawn fee. Nobody wants to hear that somebody stole my identity.”
Prepaid legal services would have saved Jeffries. The identity theft and credit monitoring services that Countrywide offers includes constant credit monitoring from three of the largest experts in the business -the damage is spotted before it really becomes an issue, and is halted.
Furthermore, Jeffries could use a prepaid legal plan to fund legal advice, which he is desperately in need of, since currently he is lost amongst a sea of bills, confusion, debt, and explanations. “My landlord didn’t get it -what I was saying was just noise to him. He needs his cash. I get it. My boss didn’t buy the reason I was taking off of work either…” Jeffries trails off.
Indeed, prepaid legal services help keep victims of identity theft in the office, and being productive. Countrywide’s identity theft monitoring includes advice from experts in addition to plans that include up to $25,000 identity theft insurance. In addition, the plans help keep employees focused on work since all the phone calls and hassle that identity theft brings is handled by a third party.
“I just don’t know where to go from here, really, ” Jeffries says, one person who can only simply wish that his company had prepaid legal benefits.