In today’s digital age, identity theft is becoming a larger and larger problem. According to an article in PC World magazine, Identity theft involve millions of people every year, costing billions of dollars for credit card companies, banks and the victims of the prevalent fraud. If you’ve had your identity stolen, there is little you can do to prevent the criminals from using your identity to defraud others, but there are several things you need to do to protect yourself from the consequences.
Cancel your credit cards. This is a vital step if you have lost your credentials (i.e. your driver’s license, credit cards, etc.) The last thing you need is the person that stole your identity having free reign over your bank account and credit.
Alert the big three credit reporting companies to the fact that your credit has wound up in the hands of an identity thief. TWA, Equifax and Experian all keep a file on you of your consumer credit. Every time that you apply for a credit card or miss a payment, it shows up on your credit reports. These reports are used by creditors to assess your ability to make payments on time and how much debt you carry. You’ll need to call them to report the fraud alert identity theft. When you do so, they will put an alert on your credit, requiring that any card companies or other creditors need to get prior approval before they can issue credit in your name. It also protects you down the road if, and when, you do find fraudulent charges on your credit reports. You can have these black marks removed citing identity theft if you have the prior credit reporting agency documentation to back it up. There are other steps that you can take. Consult the credit reporting agencies for further information.