If you’ve become victim to identity theft, you’re very likely in need of more than just physical help. Many people succumb to paranoia and anxiety when they lose their identity and are faced with a lifetime of effort to get it back, especially when the victim themselves is treated as though they did something wrong.
If you’ve become victim to ID theft, it is recommended that you report your loss to the local authorities without delay. After that, you must contact the government. You can do this online and/or by phone. Once you’ve completed this step, you should contact your account providers and put a cancellation on each and every open account, as well as report your situation.
You may also consider contacting the major credit bureaus and reporting the crime. If your state will allow you to put a freeze on your account, by all means, do so. Freezing your account will prevent further activity until the matter is resolved. Most places that extend credit will check reports before moving ahead with account; therefore a credit freeze will halt activity dead in its tracks.
Remember, stay on your toes. Credit bureaus make mistakes and could allow entry to your credit reports in error. You have to be aware of all activity and keep a record of every injustice.
A mere few states allow freezing of credit reports. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of these states, it could save you a lot of trouble. If the credit bureau places a fraud alert on your report, you end up looking like the bad guy, meanwhile the real crook is getting away with your identity. Creditors will see a fraud alert and immediately thing “what did this person do?”
Victims of ID theft are often up the creek without a paddle when they become victim. Very little support is available and the government is too busy focusing on the big picture to put any effort into helping the little guy. The problem is, little headway has been made and often times, the bad guy gets away with it. The typical ID thief is pretty savvy and may very well end up ‘outsmarting’ the law. So, where does that leave the victim?
Technology is the ID thief’s ally. With a little computer knowledge, a less than savory individual can learn all he needs to know about you without ever getting his hands dirty. While some thieves still dig through your trash, most have turned to computer hacking to gain access to your personal files and private information.
If you plan to thwart the ID thief, you must think like an ID thief. It makes sense that a thief does not want to leave traces of his or her own identity, why would you? The last thing you need is a trail of paper that leads right to your money and your reputation. Be aware of the ‘footprints’ you leave and make sure you delete, lock away, or shred any evidence of your identity that could be used against you.
If you’ve not yet become victim, take every precaution to ensure that you never end up in this lifelong battle. Protect your identity with every available resource. Use secure networks and limit outside access to your computer. Use firewalls and destroy hard copies of receipts and paid fees [http://www.everlife.com/news/116/hidden-credit-card-fees/]. You may consider investing in a personal shredder.
Don’t think it could never happen to you, because just when your guard is down; the ID thief will attack and leave you with your head in your hands. No one is immune to identity theft, you don’t have to be a millionaire to become victim, and if you don’t take the proper defense, you could very well be next!