My Wife Is a Zombie
I'm sure you're wondering what I mean when I say that my wife is a zombie, and it's a story you'll really be able to sink your teeth into (bonus for you, I love dad jokes.) My name is Eran, CEO and founder of IDSeal, and although I have been in the cyber arena for many years, my hands-on, real experience with identity theft started in 2008, which in-part led to the conception of IDSeal in 2019.
Hearing that you need an organ transplant isn't where most people ever imagine themselves being, but there I was, being told that I needed a kidney transplant. Millions of thoughts crossed my mind in that moment, but finding a solution (i.e., a kidney) is the first that really stood out. Fortunately for me, my wife was my match.
In 2008, my wife and I went in to undergo the transplant procedure, and I am glad to report that the procedure was a success. I wish that were the end of that chapter, but an organ isn't the only thing taken from my wife that day.
About a year later, my wife and I went to a car dealership to buy her a new car. After we narrowed down the vehicle she wanted, our salesperson went to pull my wife's credit report to move forward with the sale. What happened next changed my life forever. The salesperson said that my wife's credit report could not be accessed because the bureaus were reporting that she was deceased.
That's right. My living, breathing wife was documented as deceased by the credit bureaus. So now you can see what I mean by "my wife is a zombie". How does that even happen? How can someone who is alive and well be considered deceased? Needless to say, walking out of the car dealership that day unscathed was no choice for us. We had a mess to clean up.
Of course, we had to get a police report that my wife's identity had been stolen, then we had to file a report with the FTC and all relevant government / non-government agencies required. Finally, we had to figure out how it was determined that she was considered deceased. But how did they get her medical ID card in the first place?
How did it happen?
Long story short, my wife's medical identity (i.e., her insurance card) may have been stolen when she was in the hospital donating her kidney to me. No good deed goes unpunished, it would seem. This fraudster was billing my wife's insurance for their own prescription drugs, copayments, etc. and having any sort of bills sent to their own address to hide the fraud.
One the thief started receiving bills for co-pays and the payment pressure was increasing, they sent all the bills back to the provider, writing down “deceased” on the face of the bill. The insurance company then marked my wife’s file as deceased and reported to the credit bureaus, who reported to the social security office, that the individual was deceased, as well. So, if you were following along, this criminal who stole my wife's medical ID card, provided it fraudulently to medical providers, and “caused her death.” At least that is what the salesperson at the car dealership must have thought. Maybe they were seeing ghosts. Spooky, right?
How do you fix something like that?
Well, the inconvenience didn't stop there. Once we filed the police report and found out how the misinformation happened, we had to go to the social security office (and you know just how fun those are *insert eyeroll*) to prove that my deceased wife was alive. Isn't that ridiculous? My wife had to go in-person to prove she was alive, and not dead. And let me tell you, the drama didn’t end there. Apparently, they didn’t believe us in the beginning! It seems that it is a trend where people raise the dead to life at the social security office so they can have better credit/life/chances. To that end, the Social Security Administration is struggling to find who is telling the truth and who is dead or alive.
The good news is that, knowing the field and understanding the intricacies involved, we were able to resolve all that was unraveled, but not without significant use of time, effort, and resources. It took away from our personal lives and wreaked havoc where there never should have been havoc to begin with. It was a major inconvenience.
The Beginning of IDSeal
This incident, in combination with my personal history in the cyber and tech industry, inspired the creation of IDSeal. I did not want anyone to have to deal with what me and my wife went through. I wanted to provide the best available identity theft protection, which is what IDSeal is all about. I even took it a step further and released IDSeal Pro-Tec, device protection, for an added layer of protection like Antivirus, VPN, and a lot of other necessary privacy and security features.
Having heard my story, you will understand why I am so excited about the latest feature that IDSeal includes with our full-spectrum plans: Medical Identity Monitoring. It works by monitoring new medical claim activities daily, allowing you to decide if the found claim was made by you, or fraudulent. This feature proactively monitors your medical identity and alerts you so that you can review and respond before there is an issue like my wife had. You can have full visibility and control over your medical claims.
If you haven't already, I urge you to seriously consider taking the easiest proactive step there is to protect your identity and your devices. Check out IDSeal's Product Page to review which subscription may be right for your situation. Let IDSeal help protect your identity so that you can continue living your life confidently, without worry.
CEO & Founder