And just when you thought the Grinch was done for the season! Identity theft spikes during and after the holidays, owing to factors like consumers using their credit cards more, shopping on unfamiliar websites, and crossing paths with less-than-honest retail temporary workers (who may have slipped through rushed background checks).
Washington and Oregon rank No. 14 and 20 in the nation for identity theft. While that's better than in years past (when our Northwest states claimed the No. 2 and 3 spots), you'll still want to keep a wary eye on your credit card bills for the next few months. And, if you were one of the millions of people caught up in the Equifax data breach, you'll want to stay vigilant even longer.
Fortunately, if you do spot something suspicious, you have a powerful ally on your side. As a PEMCO customer, you and family members living in your home automatically receive PEMCO ID Smart™, a free service that gives you unlimited one-on-one access to a fraud specialist. While most people call after they've had a problem, you don't have to be an identity theft victim to use it. You can simply call for thorough, accurate answers to your questions about identity theft and data breach defense.
To get started, call 1-800-GO-PEMCO, and we'll connect you with CyberScout®, the experts behind PEMCO ID Smart. If you suspect you're an identity theft victim, you'll be paired with a personal advocate who will stick with you until the thief is shut down, guide you in the identity restoration process, and help you clean up any mess left behind. You also can get help with concerns about lost or stolen documents (even passports when traveling), email phishing, social media privacy, and much more.