Identity Theft claims millions of victims every year.
The identity fraud study recorded that in 2019 approximately 14.4 million people were victims of identity fraud. So although many of us feel like we would never become victims of identity theft it is a threat that happens way more than you would think. If you or a loved one have become a victim of identity theft here a few steps you should take to ensure you resolve the problem properly.
Make sure you notify the right people:
Notify the IRS and File a report with the Federal Trade Commission. If the identity theft is attached to one of your cards make sure to notify all participating parties where you suspect fraudulent activity. Here's what we advise you to do after notifying participating parties?
Make sure you place a fraud alert on your credit reports or freeze your credit ASAP. This helps stop the culprit from continuing to use your identity or commit further fraudulent activity. How did you become a victim?
Think about the many ways you could have made yourself vulnerable. Did you provide your card information on a non-secure site? Could you have possibly downloaded a bot-net virus that monitors your activity, passwords, and logins? Could you have lost any of your personal identification cards such as (IDs, social security, or credit cards)? Identifying how you were vulnerable can help you understand where the theft stems from and help you avoid making the same mistake in the future.
Take the necessary measures to protect yourself from being a victim once again.
Some suggestions offered to Identity Theft victims include signing up for account monitoring and reviewing your account activity more frequently. This not only helps you catch potential threats faster but increasing monitoring also helps tighten your security. Many credit companies offer monitoring services for free. Consider signing up for two-step authentification which sends you a notification of every purchase being made and requires confirmation in order for the purchase to be approved. Remember to keep an eye out for any suspicious purchase activity! Don't hesitate to report or notify creditors of any potentially fraudulent activity, it's always better to be safe than sorry. To avoid any future uncertainty you can always open new financial accounts and close the ones that have been threatened.
Credit Agent Plus offers credit monitoring through smart credit which offers you a free fraud policy of up to a million dollars that covers you in case of any fraudulent activity you may encounter. Get more information on how Credit Agent Plus can help you protect yourself from identity theft here
If you would like more information or essential steps to take in order to resolve identity theft, feel free to schedule a free consultation with a financial coach.