To avoid taking appropriate actions when your identity is under attack is like standing in the pathway of a charging elephant with no intention to move. The longer you stand there hoping that the elephant will stop, the more likely you will not survive. Identity thieves can destroy your reputation and quality of life forever if you simply do nothing. Therefore you must take urgent steps to keep this from happening to you.
Place Fraud Alert
Place a Fraud Alert on your credit cards, if you think your personal information has been compromised. This is the first thing you must do. This will allow a creditor to track changes in your existing accounts and prevent the opening of new accounts in your name.
Fraud alerts are usually active for ninety days. You must contact one of the three major consumer reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. The telephone numbers are toll-free.
Identify false Accounts in your name
Identify unknown debts, unexplained accounts and false inquiries from unknown companies. Once thieves have access to your personal information, the degree of damage that can be inflicted upon your identity is unimaginable. Therefore it is critical that you respond as urgently as possible to defend yourself. Make a list of all strange activity involving your personal information and record it in order to file a police report.
Close existing accounts immediately
If you have a suspicion that any account in your name has been tampered with, close that account immediately. It doesn’t take long for thieves to wreak havoc on your credit and financial stability. Thieves can quickly create fake credit cards and make fraudulent accounts in your name.
Contact companies where false accounts were opened without your approval and have the companies’ fraud department cancel those accounts. Monitor the situation until it has been thoroughly handled.
File a police report with local station
Travel to your local police department and file a police report. Not only will this provide proof to your creditors that your claims are legitimate but also increase the chances of capturing the thieves. Sooner or later these thieves will make a mistake and get caught. Police will be able to present critical evidence of their criminal activities.
File Report with Federal Trade Commission
By reporting identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission, you assist in establishing a nationwide web of entrapment for the thieves that stole your identity. Wherever they go they will be under the gun.
Police Officials across the country will be made aware of the thieves’ activities, setting the stage for their capture You may contact the Federal Trade Commission by mail, phone or online at ftc.gov/ID theft. The contact number is 1-877-ID-THEFT or 1-866-653-42.
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