Identity Theft: It's not easy to reclaim your life once a stranger steals it!

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Two of the biggest misconceptions today center around understanding the difference between credit card fraud and the many other types of identity theft-and how those differences affect making choices between simply obtaining credit monitoring services or opting for identity theft protection services that today can include both credit monitoring services as well as more in-depth services for detection and restoration services.

As the below story demonstrates, many of the most harmful types of identity theft have little to do with credit or card fraud, and are not so easy to clean up.  Whether a crook uses your identity to find employment, obtain medical services, siphon funds from your home equity line or you bank account, hijack your tax refund or commit other crimes in your name, identity theft comes in many shapes and forms, and each one can throw your life into chaos--for years to come!

Yazmin, a 26-year-old victim from Springfield, MA, who doesn't feel comfortable revealing her last name, was "cloned" by an identity thief seven years ago. "Cloning" is a type of ID theft that is so insidious and complex, that law enforcement officials have difficulty in deciphering who's the guilty party and who's an innocent victim. And it can happen to anyone.

According to government officials, Yazmin's records show she has gotten a DUI, done time in jail, owes lots of money in unpaid tickets and has quite an employment history. She couldn't drive for two months after learning her driver's license was revoked for unpaid tickets --all in her name. The IRS takes all her refunds. Her records reflect a false work history that includes her being employed in four different places in Pennsylvania -a state she has never even visited.

This story goes to the heart of what today's identity theft has become --about far more than just credit, and more intrusive and time intensive to recover from.

Find much more info on the latest types of identity theft and tips to help you protect your identity review a few earlier blogs. Yazmin shares her story below.

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Thank you for spending time helping me. I wanted you to know I did get my credit reports an have started to get the ball rolling. Now I can finally get my credit back. God Bless you too.

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