Fraudulent Insurance Policies and How to Protect Yourself Against Online Cybercrime - NYCM Insurance Blog

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May 3, 2021

Fraudulent Insurance Policies and How to Protect Yourself Against Online Cybercrime

Learn About Fraudulent Insurance Policies and How to Protect Your Privacy Online


In today’s world, it can feel near impossible to avoid sharing our personal information online. Whether it’s paying bills, online shopping, or making appointments, there always seems to be a reason to enter a date of birth, credit card number or even your driver’s license details. We know that protecting your information is of the utmost importance, so we’ve put together a guide to help you defend yourself from the latest cybercrime - fraudulent insurance policies. Continue reading to learn more!


What is a Fraudulent Insurance Policy?

A fraudulent insurance policy is a policy created by someone else using your name and information. Really, it’s just another form of insurance fraud. Cybercriminals have been known to hack into online databases in order to steal non-public information such as social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, addresses, dates of birth, and more. In doing so, they are able to insure their own homes, vehicles, and items under your name which can lead to unpaid debts, loss of insurance, and even suspensions on your driver’s license. Once a cybercriminal has your information, it can be difficult to stop them from using it.


How Can I Best Protect Myself?

Being proactive with your data privacy is one of the most effective ways in which you can protect yourself from fraudulent insurance policies as well as other cybercrimes. Use these tips to create a safer online environment for yourself and protect your personal information.


1.  Limit Access to Your Information

Although you may never be able to fully remove all of your information from the internet, there are ways to limit who may have access to what data. For example, applications on your phone will often request access to more information than you think. Many applications will ask for access to your camera roll and text messages even if those have nothing to do with the applications function. It’s a good idea to go through your phone on a regular basis to complete a data access cleanse. You will want to delete any apps on your phone that you no longer actively use, as well as messages or photos that could provide sensitive information, such as a birthdate or address. Then you’ll want to review and revoke unnecessary access to your data for the applications that you are keeping.


Never offer information like your social security number or driver’s license number on websites that are not secure. You’ll want to make sure you are only shopping online through reputable websites. Avoid logging into sensitive accounts, like your online banking platform on public servers at all costs; it’s best to wait until you are using a secure connection.  You might even consider setting up a VPN to protect your devices.


Be aware of insurance scam calls and never give personal details like your social security number over the phone or via email. It’s important to know that “phishing  attempts can come from phone numbers and emails that will purposely look similar to those that you are already familiar with. Phishing is one of the most popular strategies used by cybercriminals to fraudulently obtain personal information and is designed to trick users into divulging private information.


2.  Be Mindful of Social Media

Reviewing your social media accounts is one of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to gather your information in order to create fake accounts or policies under your name. Oftentimes, profiles on your social media platforms will list personal information such as a birthdate, a maiden name, a pet's names, who your relatives are, even the names of the schools you’ve gone to and the places you work. It’s a good idea to limit or remove these details from your profiles entirely and to avoid posting intimate details about your life going forward. You should also consider making your social media account private to those who you don’t know.


3.  Utilize Identity Theft Detection and Protection

One thing you can do to be proactive against fraudulently insurance policies being created in your name is to purchase identity theft monitoring and identity theft insurance. Companies that offer this service will scan databases for your information to see if it has ended up somewhere it shouldn’t and can alert you if your information has been detected. That way the issue can be addressed as soon as possible.


With identity theft insurance, you can rest assured  that even if your information does end up in the wrong hands, there are still recovery options. Identity theft insurance is designed to help cover costs related to identity theft. It can reimburse a victim for money spent on reclaiming their financial identities and repairing their credit reports. Policies often provide specialists who can help guide victims through the identity restoration process.


What Do I Do If I Learn That a Fraudulent Insurance Policy Has Been Opened in my Name?

No one wants to open the mail to find an insurance company is contacting them about a fraudulent policy. While scary, the situation requires swift action to combat these cybercriminals and stop them in their tracks.


Should you receive notice from an insurance company or your state’s DMV regarding a policy in your name that you did not request, call the insurance company immediately to inform them of the situation. Additionally, you will want to contact your DMV’s crime division to report the incident. In the meantime, it may also be a good idea to check your credit and possibly put a freeze on it should your social security number be a part of the original hack and ask to be notified should anyone attempt to use it.


When it comes to protecting you, your family and your assets, data protection is a top priority. It’s important to know that cybercrime is constantly evolving and that being proactive can make all the difference. By using these simple tips, you are one step closer to keeping your personal information protected online. For more information on staying protected online, check out the link below.