Every year consumers fall victim to identity theft. Identity theft can be a serious threat to your overall debt management efforts. So, what steps to should you take if you find your identity stolen? What steps would you take as damage control after ID Theft?
Damage Control After ID Theft
If a consumer finds themselves a victim of identity theft, it is important they stay calm and be aware of the necessary steps to take to recover and take back control of their finances.
Here is what you should do as damage control after ID Theft.
- Report it – If you know your identity has been stolen, it is important to report the problem to the organization immediately.
- Check credit – Irresponsible purchases made by identity thieves can cause serious damage with your credit score. Check credit history for anything out of the ordinary and contact TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian to place a fraud or identity theft alert.
- Contact banks and creditors – Consumers should report stolen or missing credit cards and any fraudulent activity on statements.
- Contact Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – By filing a complaint with the FTC, consumers will receive an Identity Theft Affidavit to verify they are the victim.
- Credit freeze – If you don’t need to apply for credit in the near future, it may be a good idea to freeze your credit so your report can’t be shared with creditors while identity thieves try to open new accounts.
- Contact police – File a report with the local police. Document and report the theft to begin the investigation. Get a copy of the report as evidence for re-securing identity and removing fraudulent charges.
- Change passwords and pin numbers – Change passwords to all accounts. Try to be creative using a variation of upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. When it comes to pin numbers, avoid using the last four digits of your social security number.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.