What to Do If You Think You’ve Been a Victim of Identity Theft

By Oliviah Nelson •  Updated: 10/11/20 •  5 min read

Identity theft is a major problem for many people, and there are several steps you can take to protect yourself. First, you can set up a fraud alert on your credit report. You should also monitor your credit report closely for signs of fraud. Then, you can request copies of any documents related to accounts or transactions that were opened using your personal information.

Preventing identity theft

One of the most important ways to prevent identity theft is to keep your personal information secure. Identity thieves often find personal information in places like your wallet, mailbox, or online shopping. You should protect this information by making sure each member of your household is aware of the dangers of sharing personal information online. This is especially important if you have a special needs child.

First, you should notify the companies that have access to your financial information. If your account has been compromised, you should contact your bank or credit card issuer and the Social Security Administration. They will work to close down any compromised accounts and place fraud alerts. You should also contact your phone and utility companies if you have been a victim of identity theft.

Next, you should contact your creditors to let them know that you’ve been a victim. Calling these companies is very important, as they can help you avoid further losses. You should also close any accounts that were opened without your permission or whose activity was unauthorized. In addition, you should keep your computer clean from malicious computer programs. This will prevent hackers from accessing your private information.

Using a people search site to monitor suspicious activity

Sites that look for people online usually contain information that you can use to monitor your identity. For example, you can use a people search site to check for new accounts or transactions that were opened in your name. These sites can also help you see if there are any court records associated with your name.

If you have any new or suspicious activity on your credit report, you should file a police report. This will help you get the information you need to fix the problem.

Adding a fraud alert to your credit report

If you’ve become a victim of identity theft, you can add a fraud alert to your credit report to alert creditors of any suspicious activity. This alert will trigger credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies to look for unusual activity. Once added, your alert will remain active for 90 days.

Adding a fraud alert to your credit report is an effective way to protect your social security number and the private account details associated with it. You can do this by calling the three major credit bureaus or by using their online reporting options.

If you’re in the military, you can choose to add a military-style fraud alert to your credit report. This will keep companies from sending you offers unless they verify your identity. These alerts last 90 days and can be renewed annually.

Monitoring your credit report for signs of fraud

If you’ve been a victim of identity fraud, it’s important to monitor your credit report for signs of fraud. TransUnion offers three types of fraud alerts. The first, called the initial alert, will remain on your credit report for one year. An extended fraud alert, on the other hand, will remain on your report for seven years. This type of fraud alert requires additional documentation but can help protect you from future fraud attempts.

If you notice any new or unfamiliar charges or inquiries on your credit report, you should dispute them. This activity will appear on your credit report and may impact your overall credit score. In 2020, credit card fraud was the second-most common form of ID theft, and more than two million people reported being victims of this crime. The best way to protect yourself from financial fraud is to monitor your bank accounts and credit reports for unusual activity.

When you check your credit report for signs of fraud, look for unusually large amounts of debt and sudden changes in your credit score. Fraudsters may use your name to open new accounts, and they can even file for bankruptcy in your name! This can severely damage your credit score.

Obtaining documents related to fraudulent transactions or accounts opened using your personal information

If you suspect that your financial information was used to open an account, it is important to obtain the relevant documents. The best way to do this is to contact the financial institution you’re dealing with and follow up in writing. If possible, use a certified letter with the return receipt requested. The financial institution must acknowledge receipt of your letter, and you should keep a copy of it.

Conclusion

If you think you’ve been a victim of identity theft, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. These include monitoring your credit report, adding a fraud alert to your credit report, and disputing any unfamiliar activity on your report. You should also obtain documents related to any fraudulent accounts that may have been opened in your name. By taking these steps, you can help protect your identity and your financial information.

Oliviah Nelson

Oliviah Nelson is an avid cybersecurity author who dives deep into technical and engineering issues in the cyber world. The author of books and articles about technology and security, Oliviah Nelson is a well respected authority.