Identity theft is on the rise—protect yourself

While most of us adjusted to mask mandates and working from home during the pandemic, identity thieves focused on stealing our personal information. According to the AARP, reports of identity theft jumped to 1.4 million in 2020, more than double the number from 2019. And there was a 2,920% annual increase in the number of identity theft cases that involved using victims’ information to apply for or receive government benefits.

Unfortunately, that’s something Ryan E. Overbey, Asset Mgt Commercial Program Specialist, and some Rockwell Automation employees experienced firsthand. After someone used his information to claim unemployment insurance, Ryan learned about CyberScout, a feature included with our MetLife Legal Plans.

“CyberScout is pretty much an ‘I need help and guidance’ type of service,” he said. “I let them know everything I did and what was involved, and they told me I did everything correctly. Because I was a current victim related to the pandemic and its unemployment fraud, they gave me a year of monitoring services for free as well as post office address change monitoring.”

Protect yourself with MetLife Legal Plans

MetLife Legal Plans doesn’t offer preventive credit monitoring, but it provides tools and resources to help you minimize your risk and protect your personal information. And it offers both proactive and resolution services if you suspect or know your information has been compromised.

Proactive services

Through the LifeStages Identity Management Services provided by CyberScout, the Plan offers:

  • Access to CyberScout Knowledge Center for helpful tips and resources so you can protect yourself
  • An assessment to gauge your risk for falling victim to identity theft
  • Direct one-to-one support from our CyberScout specialists if you suspect foul play

Resolution services

If you’re ever a victim of identity theft, you can count on our MetLife Legal Plans for:

  • Attorney consultations to respond to creditors
  • Help contacting banks, creditors and credit bureaus
  • Attorney defense for issues caused by identity theft
  • Unlimited 24/7 resolution assistance for issues, notifications, and credit and fraud monitoring.

Enrollment opportunity coming soon

You can elect MetLife Legal Plans during Annual Enrollment next month. When you enroll, you also get access to a network of over 15,000 experienced attorneys who can help you with other things like wills and trusts, real estate transactions, adoption processes, traffic ticket defense and more. It’s available for $13.50 per month, through after-tax payroll deductions.

Take time now to learn more about MetLife Legal Plans (Access Code: 3210010) and how it can you with identity theft and other legal issues. Then, if you decide the plan is right for you, you’ll be ready to take action during Annual Enrollment.

What to do after identity theft

If you’re enrolled in the MetLife Legal Plans, contact them immediately for assistance. Otherwise, take Ryan’s advice and follow this important reporting process:

  • Report the incident to, which is managed by the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Contact your local police department and file a report (when possible).
  • Report the incident to the state in which the imposter claim was filed using the “Claimant” links.
  • Request your free credit reports via and review them for other fraudulent activities.
  • Go to your state’s attorney general office website and fill out a fraud report (
  • Learn more about other scams and how to protect yourself on the state’s coronavirus website.