What to Do When Your Identity Is Stolen: 7 Critical Steps Towards Justice

Every year, millions of people are the victims of identity fraud. Sadly, this is a problem that doesn’t seem like it is going to go away anytime soon.

Thankfully, there are several steps that you can take when your identity is jeopardized. If you end up being the victim of identity fraud, your finances could end up being seriously affected.

Luckily for you, we’re here to help. So if you would like to learn more, then keep on reading and we will teach you what to do when your identity is stolen.

1. Notify Companies of Your Stolen Identity

If your identity is stolen, you want to act as soon as possible. Don’t wait to hear about fraudulent activity that might have taken place. Call all relevant companies immediately and let them know about the issue.

When it comes to account takeovers, your credit card information can be compromised. However, the thief might not have access to your personal information. If you pick up the phone and call your card issuer, they might be able to take action before more information is stolen.

If someone is using your Social Security number, impersonating you, or opening accounts in your name, then you might want to contact other companies proactively. For example, let the IRS know if your Social Security number was used on your latest tax return.

2. File a Report with the FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) collects information about stolen identity cases. The FTC doesn’t have the ability to pursue criminal charges. However, they do have information that can be given to law enforcement agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to track down criminals.

In order to file a report with the FTC, you can go to their website. During the reporting process, you will be given a recovery plan. You’ll also be given forms and letters that can be used to dispute fraudulent charges and file reports with the police.

You should remember that identity theft is when someone else’s information is used for monetary gain. A credit card number that’s stolen or a security breach that takes place doesn’t need to be reported to the FTC.

3. Contact the Local Police Department

After you contact the FTC, you want to file a report with the police depart that is in your area.

A police report is very helpful because it leaves a paper trail that can be used later on. For example, if a person uses your information to commit a criminal act, then it can be easier to resolve the issue if you have documentation of ID theft.

If your information was stolen by people who are in a different country, or if it happened online, then the police might not be able to help you. But someone who is in the community and stealing information can be caught by the police.

If you know the person who is stealing your information, then you should definitely give that information to the local police.

4. Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Reports

It is important that you contact the three main credit bureaus – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Request that they place a fraud alert on your account.

The fraud alert is going to stay on your credit report for one year. It will let any institution that pulls your credit information that your identity might be compromised.

The creditor will then be able to take a closer look at the person who is applying to make sure that they are legitimate. You only need to request a fraud alert with one of the main bureaus. They should then let the other two companies know about the fraud.

It should also be noted that it doesn’t cost any money to request a fraud alert.

5. Freeze Your Credit

In order to achieve an added layer of protection, you can request a credit freeze. This is going to totally cut off all access to your credit report. This means that the three credit bureaus will not show your credit report to anyone who requests it.

You will need to contact each of the three companies and request that your credit is frozen. It is free to do this. You should do it for children too because they can also become victims of identity fraud.

6. Tighten Security on Your Accounts

A lot of identity theft happens because people are lazy about their passwords. Many people will use the same password across a variety of accounts. These passwords tend to be easy to guess.

That means that if a thief learns your password for one account, they might be able to get access to a lot of different accounts.

You should consider using a password manager to make sure that all of your accounts are protected.

7. Hire an Identity Theft Attorney

An ID theft attorney can help you make sure that you are fully protected. They will help you get back any money that you lost and help you with any other related problems that you’re facing.

The Importance of Knowing What to Do When Your Identity Is Stolen

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have a better idea of what to do when your identity is stolen. As we can see, there are several steps that you should take to make sure that your finances and your personal information are protected.

Make sure to check out the rest of our site today for more helpful information!

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