Recover From Identity Theft
The more quickly you discover and act on identity theft, the faster you can get your credit back on track — not to mention breathe a little easier. Our tips can help!
Identity Theft Recovery Plan
If you suspect fraud on any of your accounts, contacting your bank or credit card company is your first step. A stop will be put on your account, and your account rep can help you open a new one. There are three national credit reporting companies that can help you place a fraud alert on your credit: Equifax, Experion and TransUnion. The good news is these reports are free, and the companies will work together on your behalf to make it harder for the identity thief to open new accounts in your name.
You may want to file a local police report and possibly file a report in the town where the theft occurred. To help avoid hassle down the line, consider logging all your phone calls about the fraud, along with saving all written documents and emails. If you request a copy of your credit report now, it will give you a current snapshot of your credit — before the illegal activity shows up. This way, you can compare it to future reports to help assess anything that shouldn’t be there.
With your recovery plan in place, you’re ready for simple steps to safeguard your future credit.
If you can, find any proof that the charges made in your name are fraudulent. Also, closing any new accounts that were fraudulently opened in your name will help prevent future illegal charges. Monitoring your accounts and credit reports will keep you in the loop about any suspicious activity.
If you keep seeing fraudulent charges on any of your accounts, it’s recommended that you contact the company and explain that you are a victim of identity theft. It’s a smart idea to ask each company to send you a letter confirming the charge has been removed from your account and/or credit report.
If you want more information on protecting your credit and correcting identity theft, check out the Federal Trade Commission’s IdentityTheft.gov.
Related Topics: Money Matters