Discovering that you are the victim of identity theft can be an overwhelming experience. Victims may have incurred thousands of dollars in purchases that they did not make, may have had accounts opened or closed in their names, or may be left with few financial resources to fight back against the fraud.
If you think that you might have been a victim of identity theft, it is important to take action quickly to minimize the damage. Depending on the type of fraud that was committed, you may need to do multiple things to get your finances back on track.
First, you should take stock of all of your open accounts and determine what has been compromised and what has not. Change the passwords to all of your online banking website, credit card website, and the passwords related to all other online financial accounts. You may also want to check and be sure that your computer, phone, and tablet have not been infected with a virus or spyware that is transmitting your personal information to a third party. Additionally, pull a copy of your credit report and check for any new accounts that may have been opened in your name.
Once you know how you have been affected by identity theft, you can begin to put a stop to it. First, you can contact the credit bureaus and request that a fraud alert be placed on your account. This will let lenders and creditors know that your identity has been compromised and that they need to be extra sure to verify the applicant or purchaser’s identity.
Next, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You will need to print and sign the FTC’s ID Theft Affidavit and explain the circumstances around the theft of your identity. The FTC will keep a record of your incident so that it can be used by law enforcement agencies across the country. You may also need to submit a copy of this affidavit if you report the incident to the police. By filing a report and keeping records of any fraudulent transactions, you will have a better defense if a credit attempts to make you pay for a purchase you didn’t make.
No matter what you decide to do first, you should be sure to do something. The damage done by identity theft may be minimized or reversed if you act quickly. The longer you allow someone to make purchases or obtain credit in your name, the harder it will be correct the damage.
The attorneys at Loan Lawyers can help you fight back against identity theft. To learn more about how we can help you, schedule a free, no-risk consultation today by calling (888) FIGHT-13 (344-4813).