What is non-financial identity theft? Thieves target more than just finances

PHOENIX - I'm a big fan of monitoring credit reports and monthly statements for signs of fraud, but your finances aren't the only targets for thieves.

Scammers apply for jobs, government benefits, even get medical treatment with stolen social security numbers. It's referred to as a non-financial identity theft.

Typically victims have no idea until they actually need to use the service that the scammer got to first.

According to the Federal Trade Commission , Arizona ranked 7th in the nation for identity theft complaints in 2013.

Fortunately there are resources that can tip you off about whether your information is being misused.

MIB (formerly Medical Information Bureau) is one of them. Think of it as a credit report for your medical info. Your health and life insurance provider likely reports information like your medical conditions, lab results, even your bad habits to MIB for your file. And under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to a copy of your report every 12 months.

You can do the same with other consumer reporting agencies, like Realpage.com . They maintain a database about rental history.  First Advantage conducts background checks. Both are companies that gather information associated with your name and social security number. And you are entitled to a yearly copy, to ensure it's accuracy.

You can find info about other consumer reporting agencies here .

Let me know about your consumer issues by emailing me at joe@abc15.com or by "Liking" my Let Joe Know Facebook Page and telling me about it there.

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