If you’ve been notified that your identity has been stolen, or discovered it on your own, there are steps you need to take to ensure that you’re not on the receiving end of the financial and legal backlash. Today we will break down the process and steps you need to take first!
Cancel Your Cards
If you haven’t already, you need to cancel your cards and have new ones issued. This will stop additional charges from racking up in your name.
File A Police Report
If you lost your wallet and someone has run up charges on your cards, you need to file a police report as soon as you realize what’s happened. The police can gather evidence and prove that you are not responsible for the charges. The police report will be necessary proof for the bank or credit card issuer.
Notify Relevant Companies
Contact all companies that you have financial ties to, especially if you have autopay set up. You’ll need to change all your banking information to ensure your bills are still paid on time. No need to rack up additional fines and late fees on top of the stress of having your identity stolen.
File A Report With The FTC
Contact the Federal Trade Commission immediately. The FTC will help you make an identity theft report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation.
Place a fraud alert on your credit report. If you use a site like CreditKarma.com, they will have a guide to help you in the process. If you don’t, contact the federal credit bureaus individually.
Freeze Your Credit
Placing a freeze on your credit can ensure that your information cannot be used to take out credit lines in your name for a set amount of time. This will deter the identity thief from future attempts.
Do a deep dive on all of your online accounts, from social media and email to shopping and banking. Reset everything and create unique passwords for each individual site to ensure maximum security and lower the risk of future breaches.
By taking these steps quickly, you can minimize the amount of financial harm that can result from identity theft.