Sometimes, credit scores are low not because of a financial mistake or oversight, but because of someone else’s criminal activity. Many people who are careful about paying bills on time and having minimal debt are shocked to find that they have low credit scores. Just because you have a low credit score does not mean that you were the one responsible for it. Identity thieves steal by assuming someone else’s financial identity, and will then either siphon money from the victims bank account, steal using an existing credit card, or take out new lines of credit under the victims name. Unfortunately, the victim of identity theft is affected both by financial loss, as well as the lowering of their credit score.
If you have been the victim of identity theft, report it to the police at once and obtain a police statement explaining what happened to you. Send copies of this to your bank and credit bureaus. Ask the three major credit bureaus to attach the police statement to your credit report. You may also need to close your accounts and open new ones. Ask your bank, creditors, or a legal professional what to do in this scenario. If someone made purchases in your name using a credit card, the credit card company will most likely absorb those costs if you can prove you were not the one who made them.
The credit repair companies will protect the victims from the theft. The credit score is available to the individuals. The identification of the theft is possible to have the desired results. There is no damage to the name at the credit cards. The meeting of the needs is possible for the individuals.
Fortunately, there is protection for identity theft, and effective effective ways to handle it if you are a victim. We suggest that you both purchase identity theft insurance, as well as follow our top 11 strategies.
1) Check Account Statements Every Month
Carefully check your account statements every month and look for suspicious activity, credit accounts, or charges you don’t recognize. If something is out of place, then contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus and ask them to place a fraud alert on your account. Include a statement explaining that you think you have been the victim of identity theft, and that creditors should call you before opening a new account in your name.
2) Immediately Report Lost (or stolen) Bank & Credit Cards
The sooner you notify your creditors that you have lost a bank or credit card, the safer you will be. If it has been stolen, you need to give the thief minimum time to make purchases. After you close the account, review your statements as soon as possible for any purchases you did not make. If it was a credit card which was stolen, your creditors will likely not charge you. If your ATM card was lost or stolen, order a new one and change your PIN.
3) Be Careful When Giving Personal Information Online Or On The Telephone
Be very careful who you give your personal information to. Know that it is extremely uncommon for banks and credit card companies to ask for personal information over email. Be equally suspicious about any unexpected calls. Ask the person calling you as many questions as possible before giving any personal information. You may want to ask them to give you a number where you can call them back. Hang up, check the banks website for this number, or search for this number on the internet. If the number is associated with your financial institution, then call back and continue your conversation.
4) Shred Identifying Information
A common practice of identity thieves is to sort through garbage for identifying information. They are looking for things like account numbers, birth dates, drivers license numbers, social security numbers, names etc. Before you dispose of old papers that contain personal information, you should shred or burn them.
5) Install A Firewall On Your Computer
Placing a firewall on your computer is equivalent to locking the front door to your house. You may also want to use anti-spam and anti-virus software.
6) Carry Only Required Identification
If possible, when you leave the house you should try to take only one credit card with you. In addition, you should be fully aware of the contents in your wallet or purse in the event that it is stolen or lost.
7) Change Your PIN & Passwords Regularly
Changing your PIN, banking and computer passwords regularly is a very good practice. Try not to use numbers or words which are easy for others to guess.
8) Check Your Credit Report Regularly
Check your credit report regularly for accuracy, and for suspicious behaviour. If you notice a change of address on one of your accounts, you should immediately close it and notify the three major credit bureaus in writing.
9) Contact Your Creditors
If you feel that you have been the victim of identity theft, immediately contact the creditors associated with any accounts which have been affected, or opened fraudulently. It is wise to both talk with someone in the fraud department, and follow up in writing.
10) Contact The Social Security Administration
If you are receiving notifications from employers who you do not work for, someone may be working using your social security number. In this scenario, you should contact the social security administration at 1-800-772-1213.
11) Contact The Department Of Motor Vehicles
You should immediately contact the department of motor vehicles if you have reason to believe that an identity thief is using your name or social security number to obtain a drivers license.
12) Purchase Identity Theft Insurance
If you are concerned about protecting yourself from identity theft, we recommend purchasing identity theft insurance. Companies such as LifeLock offer excellent identity theft protection, and peace of mind that your financial well being, and credit score are protected.