Do you suspect that your identity has been stolen? Well, you need to take steps to prevent the theft because it might cost you a lot of money or prison time if not handled correctly. Here’s what you need to do if you find that your identity has been stolen.
• Notify The Bank And Creditors: If your bank account or credit card has been affected, you need to close them immediately. Contact the bank or credit card company and notify them immediately.
• Place A Fraud Alert On Your Credit Card Report: You should contact the credit reporting agencies and request for a fraud alert which will be placed on your credit files. It lasts 90 days after which you can extend after filing a police report on the matter or the FTC complaint form.
• Assess Your Credit Reports: Once the fraud alert is issued, you will be removed from preapproved credit cards or insurance policies. Check your credit card reports thoroughly to identify any signs of fraud. For instance, are there new accounts that you didn’t open? Are there payments that you can’t account for? Is there any personal information that seems strange to you? Report anything that seems unfamiliar to allow the proper agencies to track the crime.
• Credit Freeze: You should consider locking down all your credit card information. That way, the reporting agencies will not release your information to any creditors. If you can prove that you’re a victim, a credit freeze will be free.
• Contact the FTC (Federal Trade Commission): Federal investigators look through the larger and sophisticated cases. However, they always check through the minor cases to discover any patterns that might break identity theft crime rings. If you’re a victim of identity theft, fill out the form available on the FTC website. You can provide the form to your credit companies for further investigation.
• Police Report: Also, you need to alert the police in your city about your identity theft case. It’s important to get a police report of the case. Together with the FTC for, you can pursue the case with the financial institutions and make a valid claim. In the police report, you should list down all the accounts with fraud and provide as much evidence as possible. You can also present the police with the FTC form for further investigation.
Finally, you should change all the passwords to your financial accounts but don’t use obvious passwords that can be easily cracked.