Pat Herberger is the owner/operator of Herberger Consulting, and an identity theft specialist.  She presented us with many of the different ways your identity can be infiltrated and used without your knowledge, but at your cost.  She told us that criminals hack into over 75,000 computers at more than 2500 companies, just to get at their databases.  Once they have your private information (social security number, driver's license number, birth certificate information, credit card numbers, even just the last 4 digits), they can use it to purchase items, have medical procedures done, book and take vacations, and many more activities, all which will be charged to you.  If you find charges to your cards, and you notify your bank within 2 days, you are only responsible for $50 in charges; from 2 to 60 days you are responsible for $500 in charges.  After 60 days you are responsible for all of the illegal charges.



Criminals can use your social security number to gain employment they would otherwise not qualify for, and any harm could go against your records.  If they gain your medical information they can have procedures performed that would be billed to you.  Many people have been falsely arrested because after a routine traffic stop their records come up with warrants for criminal acts done by a criminal using their driver's license information.

Pat suggests that everyone use a credit check service to keep an eye out for any activity using their private information which they know does not belong to them.  She states that is the only good way to help keep your records clean.