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What To Do If You Are A Victim Of Identity Theft, College Guide
Your identity can be stolen using different methods. However, the outcome will always remain the same – it’s going to be bad. When you are a victim of identity theft, your information could be used. Most of the time, it can ruin your reputation. Your credit and even personal relationship could be in danger.
Just in case you are a victim of identity theft, spare no time. Make sure that you will act on it before it is too late.
Fortunately, you have found this post. At least you will be guided on what you need to do.
Evaluate The Gravity Of The Situation
It’s important that you understand what could be affected when you become a victim of identity theft. Think about your banks, government benefits, and medical information to name a few.
Immediately report that you are a victim of identity theft. That way, no one can touch or open an account without your consent. There are different agencies that you can call. But more often than not, all will be notified once you reach out to one of them.
When you place a fraud alert, it would usually stay on your report for a year. But if you wish for it to be extended, then that is possible too.
Even if you are not 100% sure that you are a victim of identity theft, it’s always good to place an alert. Again, it would be nearly impossible for others to open an account under your name. You have nothing to lose here.
Look At Your Financial Accounts
Hopefully, you have already created your online bank accounts. That way, you can already trace if there are any unusual transactions. We recommend that you close these in the meantime. Report about all your credit and debit cards as early as you can.
Check Your Computer Or Other Gadgets
You have to scan your computer right away. See if there are viruses as this could be the reason why hackers were able to get your information. Get an antivirus program or look for an expert that could do it for you.
File A Complaint
You must provide your personal information with the Federal Trade Commission. Likewise, file a police report.
Document All The Actions Taken
Make sure that you keep track of everything you do while trying to resolve the issue. This includes the people you talked to, from which organizations they are affiliated, the time, and the context of your conversation.
Change All Your Password
Once you’ve retrieved your accounts, create new passwords which are hard to decode. Never share it with anyone. And don’t save it in devices or places where people could easily access these.
Since you know the hassle of being a victim, be more vigilant and careful.
Signs That You Are A Victim Of Identity Theft
Here are obvious signs that someone is using your identity.
- You receive bills for items that you didn’t purchase.
- You are getting debt collection calls for accounts you are not familiar with.
- You are getting denied loan applications.
The last one though has many reasons. But if you believe you have a good credit yet you are being denied, then you must do further investigation.
Who Are The Common Victims Of Identity Theft
The common victims are children and seniors. But that doesn’t mean that you are safe. Anyone could be a victim, and that is why you need to be extremely careful. Be on the lookout for signs and act right away if you have any suspicions.
Avoid Being A Victim
Here are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of being a victim of identity theft.
- Do not carry your social security card in your wallet.
- Never share personal information.
- Make sure that your bills come on time. If there are irregularities, contact the sender.
- Accept your mail every day and place a hold if you will be out of town.
- Use added security features such as your mobile phone.
Yes, it can be exhausting to be a victim of identity theft. You need to call organizations, file complaints, clear up your accounts, and even inform your families and loved ones. But that’s how you are going to fight it. Otherwise, they will use your identity to their advantage. As for you, it’s harder to bring back and to clear your reputation.
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