What to Do If You’ve Been Victimized by Identity Theft
If you’ve been victimized, you need to know how to react.
With the increasing reliance on technology to conduct financial business, identity theft is on the rise. In fact, identity theft affects nearly 10 million Americans every year, making ID fraud protection through credit monitoring more necessary than ever.
When you choose to hire a credit monitoring service, you can have the peace of mind that your credit report is constantly being scanned for any suspicious activity. If suspicious activity is found, most credit check monitoring services will alert you via email within 24 hours. Then, if you feel the activity caught by the credit monitor service was due to errors, you can dispute them; and if you feel the activity was due to identity theft, you can take the following ID fraud protection steps:
- Notify the fraud divisions of the three credit monitoring agencies that you have been a victim of identity theft and now require ID fraud protection.
- File a report with your local police department.
- Call the ID fraud protection toll-free hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT, the main center for reporting incidences of identity theft to the federal government.
- Close any accounts on the credit monitoring report that you suspect were fraudulently opened in your name.
- If your credit monitor report indicates that an identity thief has accessed your ATM card, bank accounts or checking accounts, close those accounts immediately.
- If your online credit monitoring service indicates that an identity thief has stolen your mail for access to new credit cards or falsified change of address forms, notify your local postal inspector.
- If your credit monitoring report shows that someone tried to use your social security number when applying for a job, contact the Social Security Administration to verify that your name and reported earnings are reported correctly.
- If your online credit monitoring service reports that your name or social security number was used by an identity thief to try to obtain a driver’s license, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Contact the Experian credit monitoring, Equifax credit monitoring and TransUnion credit monitoring services. Review your credit reports carefully to make sure no additional fraudulent accounts have been opened.
To ensure ID fraud protection in the future, hire a credit protection service that provides credit monitoring online and receive instant email alerts regarding any suspicious activity on your account. To instantly get your credit monitoring service activated and obtain a copy of your credit report, go to www.creditreport.com/creditmonitoring/ now.