When it comes to consumer complaints, identity theft is on top of the ladder for so many years.
Some of the common Identity theft forms include:
- Credit card fraud
- For new credit, use of false application
- Fraudulent bank account withdrawals
- Fraudulent IP address usage in order to do illegal online activity
If you believe you are identity theft victim, you need to take few steps immediately in order to reduce the damage.
Alert on your Credit Reports
When you put a fraud alert on your credit report, it gives financial institutions a notice that they need to be extra careful in terms of your identity verification before offering credit.
Putting an alert is not that tough. To place a three months’ fraud alert on all your credit reports, just contact any credit reporting agency you want, they will automatically notify other agencies regarding your alert.
For example, if your checkbook was stolen, directly contact your bank. Similarly, if your credit card is stolen, directly contacting with credit card issuer is the best option.
To get the best out of this strategy, it is quite important that you have a list of institutions with their phone numbers with you. For God sake, don’t write your account numbers on the list, as it will be one more way through which the thief can steal your identity.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Create an Identity Theft Report and File an Identity Theft Affidavit through FTC.
The best part about Federal Trade Commission is that they will offer you with a detailed plan of action regarding what you need to do next, on the basis of fraud that you have encountered.
For Identity Theft Report completion, it is of utmost importance that you report the theft by contacting your local law enforcement office.
Keep the copy of your police report because you may need to use it in the future. To create your Identity Theft Report, you will require both FTC Identity Theft Affidavit and police report.
Your Identity Theft Report can come in real handy when working with ID protection companies or credit reporting agencies to identify the thief.
Social Security Number
Make sure that you contact the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration immediately if you believe that there is a compromise on your social security number.
Even if there is no sign of financial fraud, any doubts regarding your social security number should not be taken lightly. There is a possibility that thief may have set sights on swiping your tax refund, or to get a job in your name.
Apart from the steps mentioned above, if you have a gut feeling that the identity thief may have submitted a fraudulent address modification to the post office or planning to commit fraud against you by using the U.S. mail, it is advisable that you contact the Postal Inspection Service.
Clearing the damage of identity theft is quite a complicated routine, but you have no option other than fighting it out and securing yourself.