• Types of Identity Theft

    There are several types of identity theft. Knowing what to do if you are a victim of identity theft starts by knowing what type of identity theft you are dealing with.

    Financial Identity Theft

    When we hear the words "identity theft" we usually think of credit reports and bank accounts. This is called financial identity theft. We hear about data breaches like TJ Maxx and Heartland Payment Systems (130 million credit cards) regularly. Our faith in our financial institutions is shaken. Some of us are thinking about stuffing our money in the mattress again. If an identity thief gets access to your bank account, you will want to read up on the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA)

    Insurance Identity Theft

    Your Guide has identified insurance identity theft as a "new" type of identity theft. Although the problem has always existed, it presents specific problems for the victim that must be addressed independently from other types of identity theft. Of course, all types of identity theft have the potential (or even likelihood) of bleeding over into other types. Generally speaking, insurance identity theft tends to be a concern when you are a victim of medical identity theft, and could also show up as financial identity theft.

    Medical Identity Theft

    The World Health Organization said this is “the information crime that can kill you.” It’s not just the most dangerous form of identity theft, it’s also one of the hardest to fix. There are very specific areas you will want to look into when you are a victim of medical identity theft, and they are in general vastly different from dealing with any other type of identity theft.

    (As a side-note, there is a lot of misinformation concerning the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) when it comes to medical identity theft. Keep in mind that, despite the name of the organization, MIB Group has almost nothing to do with medical identity theft – although if you are a victim of insurance identity theft you may want to consider checking your free MIB report.)

    Criminal Identity Theft

    Criminal Identity Theft is just as difficult as medical identity theft in terms of resolving the problem. Like medical identity theft, criminal identity theft has a way of coming back to haunt you, even after you think you have the problem taken resolved.

    The easiest way to find out if this has happened to you is to get caught speeding. The officer who stops you will run your license and registration. If there are warrants out for your arrest, s/he will give you a pretty set of matching silver bracelets, and free public transportation.

    When dealing with criminal identity theft, expect a lot of skepticism. Police are told “It wasn’t me” almost every day. It's also worthwhile to know that many states now have specific laws in place to address identity theft.

    Driver’s License Identity Theft

    This may be the easiest form of ID theft to commit. Your purse/wallet gets stolen, and your driver’s license gets sold to someone who looks like you. Then it’s easy for them to get other forms of ID in your name. This type of ID theft spreads to others, especially criminal identity theft.

    Social Security Identity Theft

    There are millions of people working in America who don’t want to pay taxes. Your SSN may be the most valuable piece of personal information that a person can steal.

    Thieves working with someone else's Social Security number can avoid paying any taxes by manipulating withholding taxes or working as an independent contractor and not paying any withholding at all.

    The IRS may eventually hand the bill for those unpaid withholding taxes to you since the compensation was paid to someone with your SS number. 

    If you suspect someone has stolen your Social Security number, report the crime immediately to the IRS and file a report with your local police department. Contact the Social Security Administration for a replacement card. 

    Synthetic Identity Theft

    This is the “latest thing” in the ID theft world. The thief will take parts of information from many victims and combine it. The new identity isn’t any specific person, but all the victims can be affected when it’s used. It will show up in the areas above, so look to those sections for additional information.

    Synthetic identity theft has also been used to describe any act in which the criminal attempts to convince someone they are another person, real or fictional. This careful wording is no doubt reactionary to the US Supreme Court ruling that an illegal immigrant has not committed a crime unless he/she knew they SSN they were using belonged to an actual citizen. 

    Child Identity Theft

    Our kids are a big target for identity theft. Child Identity Theft has become a serious concern in recent times, and there are a lot of articles giving widely varying advice concerning the matter. From a practical standpoint, an 8-year-old won’t be looking at his or her credit for at least eight more years, when they decide to get a car and insurance.

    Sadly, in these cases, it is almost always a friend or family member who commits identity theft. This means the parents will usually not want to press charges, and the identity thief counts on that.

  • The Short Message Marketing System

    Marketers are always searching for new and different ways to approach their potential clients and present their products and services. Online SMS marketing campaigns are really no different from any other marketing channel and should be integrated into your overall marketing strategy.

    Let me outline the best way to launch an inbound text messaging campaign that generates a flood of new sales leads.

    1. Build Your Ideal Buyer

    buyer persona is a fictional character based on the commonalities of a specific target group of customers.

    Each customer buys your product for different reasons, for example, a health club will attract people who want to lose weight, need to rehabilitate an injury, want to prepare for a specific sport etc.

    Each of the above groups has different motivations and is seeking a different outcome so will only respond to specific messaging.

    You want to pick a specific group and convert them into a character so that when you’re creating an SMS campaign you know exactly which hot buttons to push to get them to take action.

    2. Craft An Offer That Your Persona Can’t Refuse

    Now that you have your buyer personas in place it now becomes easier to come up with offers that are irresistible to each persona.

    What is an irresistible offer?

    It’s an offer that is highly relevant to a specific goal that your buyer persona wishes to achieve.

    For example, which of these offers is more appealing to new moms?

    1. 8-week boot camp.

    2. 8-week boot camp for women.

    3. New Moms! Get back into shape in 8 weeks with our new MommyFit Boot Camp.

     

    The last offer would work best because it speaks to the problem (women who gained weight during pregnancy), offers a specific time frame (8 weeks), and offers a solution (lose weight quickly and get back to your previous shape).

    Come up with a general offer and then keep reworking it until it speaks right to the problems and desires of the person you want to attract.

    3. Set Up Your SenText System

    We know who we’re going to target, what motivates them and an offer that matches the result that person is looking to achieve.

    Next, we have to set up our online lead generation system (SenText)

    • Keyword

    First, decide on the keyword that you want to use in your promotion. Be sure to make it short and relevant to either the person’s goals or to the promotion itself.

    For example, if you have a 50% off special happening in-store then you might just use the word 50% as your keyword:  “Text 50% to 12345 and receive a 50% off coupon to use in store during December.”

    • Shortcode

    The shortcode is the number that people will text your keyword back to in the above example the shortcode was 12345.

    • Customer group

    This is simply a contact group. Each person that texts your keyword back to that specific shortcode will be placed into this contact group so you know exactly who they are and what offer they responded to which makes follow up a breeze.

    4. Get Eyeballs On Your SMS Promotion

    This is the easy part. Now that you have everything ready to go it’s now a matter of getting as many eyeballs onto your SMS promotion as possible.

    Take a look at where your potential customers are interacting with your business and place your SMS offer in that space, common areas are:

    • Website

    • Email newsletter

    • Blog posts

    • Paid ads

    • Social media

    • Influencers

    • Store POS

    • Window signage

    • In-store etc.

     

    New sales leads will begin to flow in and your SMS list will continue to grow, allowing you to send out effective text marketing campaigns to continually generate more sales for your business.


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