Identity Theft Protection – Things You should Know
You are enjoying your business because you are doing it just the right way and are running it successfully. But, are you overlooking some dangers you might face during the process? One of such dangers is identity theft. This is a serious crime and it means someone is using your personal information without your knowledge and permission. This information may contain:
- Your name
- Your address
- Details of bank account or credit card
- Social Security number
- Details of health insurance account
Yes, there are a few ways:
- Withdrawals of large or small sums from your bank account that you have no knowledge
- Not getting any bills or other emails
- Getting medical bills for medical services which you haven’t used
- Getting calls from lenders about repayment of loans which you haven’t taken
- Occurrence of strange charges or accounts on your credit report
- Getting intimation from IRS (Internal Revenue Service) that you are being paid by an employer you don’t work with
What to Do if You Find that Your Identity has been Stolen?
When you find that your identity is stolen, it’s very important to act fast. The immediate actions you can take are:
- Notify the companies where fraud has occurred and notify the fraud department that your identity has been stolen. Request them to freeze your accounts so that the thieves cannot add new transactions without your knowledge. Change all the details like user id, password and PINS for the account.
- Three companies create your credit report, viz. Transunion, Experian and Equifax. The very first step you can take is to place a fraud alert on all the three credit reports. Next you should call one of them and the company in which fraud has occurred is supposed to call the other two. Get your free credit reports and review them for checking if there is any transaction which you can’t identify. If you notice such a transaction/s, you can report it to the police and the FTC.
- Get a print of your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit. Also you better save it, because once you close the site, you cannot access the affidavit.
- After you report the theft with the police, ask for a copy of the report, because you will need it for completing other steps.
- Combine your police report and FTC Identity Theft Affidavit; this will be your Identity Theft Report.
What should be Your Next Steps?
Once you create an Identity Theft Report, you can start repairing the damage.
- Call the fraud department of all companies with whom you had opened accounts, explain them about the theft and request them to close those accounts.
- Request them to send you a confirmation letter that you are not liable for the fraudulent account and it was taken out from your credit report.
- Make a note of whom and when you contacted.
- Contact each of the three credit report bureaus and ask them to block your information like name, address and Social Security number.
There are many companies on the market which can protect your identity. They offer full protection to your identity including monitoring public records, SSN and all three major bureaus, or can offer you just a basic, simple access to your credit scores and report if you want. Read their reviews to find what outstanding benefits they provide to their clients and check if they can be perfect for your identity protection.