May 12, 2016

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Meet Wendy: Identity Theft Victim Turned Advocate

At IdentityForce, our entire team shares a commitment and passion for keeping members safe from identity theft. Periodically, we will be posting employee profiles so you can get to know our identity protection family and feel even more comfortable entrusting us to guard your personal information.

Wendy Brown – IdentityForce Member Services Manager

When you call IdentityForce, you might talk to Wendy, one of our friendly employees in Member Services. Wendy was born in Toronto, but currently makes her home in Cincinnati, Ohio. She loves to spend her time with friends and family, go fishing, and relax in her garden, which is her sanctuary.

Wendy’s favorite part about working for IdentityForce is being able to give members peace of mind and letting them know she truly understands how scary it is being a victim of identity theft — because she’s been there, too.

Before working for IdentityForce, Wendy was a victim of identity theft — twice. When her identity was stolen for the first time, she was only 19 years old. She was shocked to receive a call from a bank notifying her that her home loan — and loan she had never applied for — had been denied. Pretty soon, however, she began to put the pieces together and figure out how someone had gotten their hands on her Social Security number:

“I had applied for a new job and of course, for all jobs, you must provide a copy of your Social Security card, as well as other personal documents. I had my final interview, so I had all of my required documents with me, but I did not go straight home after my interview. I went to a friend’s house for a card party and had put my purse in the closet, but there was one person there that no one knew; she stated that she came with another friend. It turned out that not only did she steal my identity and other data, she had taken information from everyone that was there. My cards were still in my purse when I went home so I was not aware anything occurred until I received that call. The entire incident caused lenders to consider me a risk — which was not fair my eyes.”

Seven and a half years later, Wendy had her identity stolen again. She discovered that someone was trying to open new accounts in her name, as well as make changes to existing accounts using her personal information; that person was successful in making changes and he signed her name. That individual was eventually caught, but it took years to resolve the issues because she didn’t have a company like IdentityForce to help her — she was on her own.

Wendy says that every time her identity was stolen, she felt alone, scared, and helpless. She is deeply committed to her job because she never wants IdentityForce members to feel what she felt, or think they’re alone in dealing with a scary situation like identity theft.

Wendy’s best piece of advice to avoid identity theft?

“You can never be too careful. Be proactive and review your data regularly.”

Judy Leary

President at IdentityForce
For Judy, identity theft protection is in her DNA—her dad started IdentityForce’s parent company in the 70s, and in the 80s, she and her brother came on board. She loves her dedicated team and how much they care about every member, partner, and supplier. In addition to protection against identity theft, Judy is passionate about travel (Aruba is her “happy place”!) and giving back. She volunteers for the Alzheimer’s Association, Mazie Mentoring Program, and Sunshine Golden Retriever Rescue. She’s also a proud mom to 2 grown daughters and 3 rescue dogs.

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