Simply put, identity theft is basically the act of impersonating someone, mostly done for illicit financial gain such as someone’s personal credit or banking information. Unfortunately, identity theft has become the world’s fastest growing white collar crime. Around 2.5 million complaints were reported for identity theft in 2017. If you become the victim of identity theft there are steps which, if taken in time, can save you from massive losses.I am going now going to share 6 steps that must be taken right after diagnosing identity theft. Time is money and when identity theft is involved – time is everything. I am assuming you’ve heard of Frontier FiOS service, if not, check it out for lightning-fast internet speed. As soon as you finish reading this article, share this important information with everyone you know and save them from identity theft before it’s too late.
1. Notify Your Bank and Creditors
If you fall victim to identity theft, your first step to stopping any loss is to call your creditors and banks to stop your cards and fill them in on the theft. It’s also important to inform any relevant people you work for because, in such scenarios, they can hurt your reputation as well. Also, send your FTC ID Theft Report to your creditors and the credit reporting agencies.
2. Issue A Fraud Alert.
If you learned about your identity theft a little late then you must issue a fraud alert for your credit report and obtain a copy of your credit report immediately to check all the transactions that have taken place and possibly put a stop to any that are still revocable. Also, try to tell everyone you know about your identity theft so anyone contacting them or trying to misuse your identity is reported to the authorities.
3. Check Your Credit Reports Thoroughly.
Identity theft is sometimes hard to recognize and there have even been cases where the impersonator kept misusing the identity for years because the credit card holders were not checking their reports vigilantly. It may sound rare or impossible to most people, but if someone has multiple cards and does hundreds of transactions regularly that means there are chances that a couple of transactions can be forged. And the imposters are smart – very clever in fact. In some scenarios, gigantic organizations had been a victim of this scam where millions of transactions take place and a couple of false transactions done by impersonators cannot be traced. Therefore, it is very important to thoroughly verify your credit reports.
4. Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Local Police Department and Social Security Office.
All of these departments must be contacted so that they can help revoke, identify the criminal and process the case. For Federal Trade Commission, fill out the FTC’s ID Theft Complaint Form from their website and print a copy to keep for documentation. Then, call your local police department and tell them all the details so they can help if possible. Since you are a victim of identity theft, you should inform the social security office and they can suggest what to do next.
5. Change Passwords.
As recommended for all online accounts thatare victim to any type of cyber criminalityor identity theft. Since identity theft is typically taking place online, this puts the control in your handswhich means you can just change your passwords and stop everything in process. However, the loss totally depends on how soon you are able to interrupt and take control of the situation.
6. File a Police Report.
Informing the police and filing a report will make everything lawful and in most cases, impersonators assume that the victim will not report and this is something they are most afraid of. Getting caught for them is not the same as it is for most criminals, this is an identity thief’s only strength, so they would rather find another target. In fact, it’s more beneficial to them than losing everything after one thing goes wrong. This is the last thing they want.
It’s best to document everything and maintain a running log of exactly what happened and when it took place, as well as your response and how you dealt with it. This should include dates, names, and all parties involved and the people you have spoken to.
A Tech Junkie / Content Marketer who enjoys high-speed internet with Frontier Internet Service. She loves to listen soft music in leisure time.