You Are An Identity Theft Victim, Now What?
In the fast pace world we live in, anyone can become a victim of identity theft. It’s been said that it’s not if you become a victim, but when. Your identity can be stolen if you lose your purse or wallet and you carry your social security card in your purse or wallet. Once identity thieves get your social security number all they need is your drivers license number and a few credit card numbers. And if your check book or bank account numbers were in your purse or wallet you stand a good chance of becoming the next victim. You can minimize the damages to your credit and financial life if you act fast. Cleaning up after becoming a victim of identity theft will take a lot of time and effort, so minimizing the damages up front is worth it.
#1 – File A Police Report
Clearing your credit will help if you have a police report on file.
#2 – Order Your Credit Reports Immediately
Review every account on that credit report, making note of the fraudulent ones
#3 – Notify The Credit Reporting Agencies
Equifax, Experian and Trans Union are the 3 major credit reporting agencies. The best approach is to notify each one of them explaining that you have become a victim of identity theft.
#4 – Set Up A Fraud Alert
A fraud alert on your credit report is a “red flag” signaling to creditors that you have been a victim of identity theft. It is important that you ask the credit reporting agencies to set up fraud alerts on your credit reports. Once you place a fraud alert at one of the reporting agencies they notify the other two.
#5 – Place A Security Freeze
A security freeze on your credit report means that your permission is required before credit reporting agencies can release your credit report to anyone. The credit reporting agencies will only place a security freeze on your credit reports at your request.
#6 – Inform Your Creditors
Have your credit card companies close out your accounts, even those that seemed to have escaped being tampered with. Ask them to make a note in your file that you are a victim of identity theft.
#7 – Change All Passwords
It is critical at the point that your identity has been compromised that you change the passwords on all of your financial accounts. Identity thieves can cause more damage if your passwords remain in force.
#8 – Close Out Your Checking And Bank Accounts
Do not leave anything to chance. Even if the thieves have not hit your bank accounts yet, why leave the door wide open for them.
#9 – Contact The Social Security Administration
You may need to replace your social security number. Contact your local social security office.
#10 – Contact Your Secretary Of State’s Office
You will need to notify them of your missing drivers license and get it replaced.
If you become a victim of identity theft do not allow the thieves to beat you. You can reverse any damages to your identity by taking the right steps in a timely manner. Yes, clearing your credit will take a lot of time on your part, but managing the situation immediately will help.