ID theft can take heavy emotional toll on victims

Dealing with a stolen debit or credit card number is generally quick and easy – you make a call, get a new account number and card, and have any fraudulent charges or withdrawals wiped away.

When a crook steals your Social Security number or other personally identifiable information and pretends to be you, he can drain your bank accounts, get new credit cards in your name, steal your tax refund or use your insurance for medical procedures.

“It’s been a nightmare,” said Diane, a victim in Minnesota.

“My husband and I would have survived better had our house burned to the ground, or if we had been burglarized or robbed at gunpoint. There would have been less hassle, less stress….”

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