After a woman from Canon City saw stories of victims on 11 News she wanted to let others know that identity theft is a hurdle you can overcome.
“"Where do I go? Who can help me? Is there anyone that can help me?” Margaret Cass wondered after falling victim to indentity theft.
Carole Bergeman recognized this cry for help because she has been in their shoes.
“It probably to me was equaled by a death or divorce, or your house burning down; that kind of trauma,” said Bergeman.
Nine years ago Bergeman had her identity compromised after a home burglary.
She spent over six months handling the stress on her own.
“I personally had to call every credit card company, every bank, every business that a check had been cashed at. It was so overwhelming I think I cried everyday for three of those six months,” said Bergeman.
Bergeman said you don’t know how important that personal security it until its taken away.
“You don’t realize how much of your life is connected to something as simple as a credit card, or a check, an account number. You don’t realize how much you personally are involved in all of those things,” said Bergeman.
After her experience she felt inspired to show others there is help. She joined Legal Shield, an organization that can help protect identity theft or restore it.
“In this day and age it's not a matter of if it will get stolen, it's a matter of when. And if it happens to me again, I am okay. I know I've got them to count on,” said Bergeman.
Bergeman says in her experience working with Legal Shield, the best part is that they don’t just tell you that there is a fire, they put out the flames.
“Instead of just letting you know that something happened on your account, they let you know it happened, but then they tell you how they took care of it,” said Bergeman.
There are several paid services such as Legal Shield that can help victims. There are also other free resources available.
Police tell 11 News victims or those who want more information about identity theft can pick up brochures at their local district attorney’s office, including a identity theft repair kit.
For more information about Legal Shield browse the information below.
We also compiled a list of a few resources available:
-Federal Trade Commission: www.ftc.gov/idtheft
-Attorney General’s Office: http://www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/initiatives/identity_theft
-Identity Theft Resource Center: www.idtheftcenter.org
-Colorado Bureau of Investigation: Identity Theft/Fraud Unit:
Toll Free: 855-443-3489
-Social Security Administration: www.ssa.gov
-Internal Revenue Service: www.irs.gov
There are several other organizations available to help. If you need assistance finding those organizations you can ask the local law enforcement agency you file your police report with, pick up some brochures at your local district attorney’s office, or ask for guidance by one of the above organizations.
If you are interested in Legal Shield you can visit: www.legalshield.com.
If interested in Southern Colorado services Carole Bergeman can be reached at 719-240-7170 or
Legal Shield is a service you pay for, but organizers say they are willing to help out non-members. It was previously called Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc. and has services provided by Kroll Inc.
Before you contact businesses, organizations, charities, that claim to help out with identity theft victims, it is suggested you check with your local BBB (Better Business Bureau) to check that they are a legitimate organization.