How should you respond to the theft of your identity?

respond to the theft of your identity

 Identity theft is a complicated yet time-consuming process to be interrogated. This fraudulent activity occurs when someone invades your privacy and uses your personally identifiable information (PII) for their interest.

Suppose, if a scammer discloses your name or Social Security Number, they can take out a loan or can also apply for a credit card in your name. This can also forefront to various risks like a data breach, or account hacking.

In this article, I will be explaining you that how should you respond to the theft of your identity. What signs indicates that someone is using your identity, and why is it significant to avail the identity theft protection service? Read out the complete blog to get yourself acknowledged with this decisive information.

How to check if someone is using my identity?

Can you become the victim of identity theft easily? Off course, many Americans have to compromise on their identity theft issue every year. The FTC has received about 5.7 million fraudulent activities this year of which 1.4 million were consumer identity theft cases. 

This criminal act can occur in different ways, from the outmoded dumpster diving to the more refined hacking of online databases. 

How to check if someone is using my identity? So, here are some of the signs that help you inspect whether your personal information has been used for a fraudulent purpose or not.

  • If you notice a sudden change in your credit score, chances are that your credential information has been stolen. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in America allows a free credit check every year to avoid such scams.
  • You may receive a tax return that is filed against your name without your knowledge. This may indicate that a criminal has filed a tax return to access your tax refunds.
  • A sudden increase in the bills you did not even know about. This occurs when a fraudster misuses your credit card to pay their bills.
  • Breach of your private information like your identity card, driving license, or passport, implies that someone has fraudulently used your identity.
  • You may get calls or collection notices from unknown debts. You need to find out about those debts and contact the collection agency, asking for proof of debt and the creditor information within days. 

What is step one if someone steals your identity?

It is not so easy to put your life on a normal track after you have had your identity stolen. But, you will have to do this just for the sake of catching out the culprit. 

What is step one if someone steals your identity? That’s the most frequently asked question. So, when someone steals your identity, the foremost step you need to do is to file a complaint against the identity theft culprit with the help of the FTC. 

Federal Trade Commission will be guiding you with a step-by-step process regarding further procedures. Below are the ways you can implement to respond to identity theft. 

Responding to identity theft:

You must be speculating about how should you respond to the theft of your identity. or maybe look up the ways when you realize that your finances, identity, or online accounts have been compromised. That’s where you need help!

1: Contact identity theft protection service:

Give a call to your identity theft protection service or the insurance company if you have any. White Glove Fraud Resolution is a U.S based identity guard team that is available 24/7 to help facilitate their customers. They can even provide a three-way call between your bank, the government agencies, and you. Contact them to discuss your issue.

2: Freeze your credits immediately:

You need to freeze your credits on all three bureaus. A credit freeze may stop anyone from accessing your credits. Bureaus like the Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax are the three renowned credit report bureaus in the United States. You can just sent them a mail or simply contact them through phone to freeze your accounts.

3: Report the identity theft to FTC:

Reporting to FTC about identity theft is one of the essential steps. The way that FTC generates a report can be helpful for you to prove the ID theft to financial institutions and businesses. Call on their helpline or fill out a form to submit your report online.

4: Reach out to the companies and banks where this fraudulent activity has occurred:

You need to look out for the companies and financial institutions where you know this identity theft has occurred and someone has fraudulently used your personal information. The fraud departments of these companies will help you find out the culprit.

5: Ask for copies of your credit reports:

Once you have filed a complaint against the fraud, now it has become easier for you to ask for a copy of your credit reports from each credit reporting agency. It’s good to look for all three reports in detail so that you cannot miss anything.

6: Find out the information from the debt collectors:

You have all the legal rights to attain the needed information from the debt collectors. You can ask the debt collectors for the debt incurred because of the identity theft issue you have been through. This will benefit you in searching for the criminal.

7: Block reporting of the mutilated information:

A victim always has a right to ask the CRAs to block information that is the result of identity theft in your file. Suppose, the identity thief has made purchases using your name and never pay for that purchases. So, if you won’t block this information, it will be persisting in your credit report. 

8: Inform the local law enforcement as well:

It is essential to inform your local police department about the fraudulent activity that has occurred using your identity. FTC also recommends you alert the local police about the incident. You can also reach out to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre to file a complaint online.

9: Contact the IRS:

You need to file a report with the IRS as well if you think that your SSN has been used to commit any crime related to tax. IRS has a special department named, the Identity Protection Unit (IPU), that helps resolve the issues of identity theft victims. IPU will guide you regarding the correct tax information and assist you in the whole process of finding the fraud.

10: Block all of your accounts:

You need to clean up things on an immediate basis. Contact the utility companies and other places, where you have accounts. Always ensure that you have canceled the fraudulent accounts. You can open new accounts with entirely different account numbers. Keep a complex and strong password for each account to avoid such scammers reach your account easily.

Why is it important to have identity theft protection?

Issues like identity theft have now become common among people. As per the last year’s report, FTC has received over 1.4 million reports of the issues. While this year, the number of claims is more than doubled. 

The impact of crimes like identity theft is staggering. Americans have lost for over billions to fraudsters, while analysts are of the view that identity theft will now become a $25 billion industry shortly.

Many people ask, why is it important to have identity theft protection. So, that’s what you need the most. Identity theft protection pledges to provide peace of mind by simply securing your identity and private information from criminals to avoid any criminal act.

Do you need to pay for identity protection services?

Truth be told, you don’t necessarily need to pay to get identity protection services. They won’t cost you, all you need to do is to choose one service out of two to protect your identity from being stole by a fraudster.

Notification alerts:

If you found anything suspicious, the service provider will immediately notify you to secure your account and shut out the criminal. But unfortunately, not all service providers can update you about identity theft timely. So, look for a competent or renowned company to help protect your identity.

Online monitoring:

Identity theft protection services can also endeavor online monitoring services to their clients. Through online monitoring of your credit files, banking accounts, home titles, diver’s license, and other sensitive information, you can protect yourself from any damage. 

Final thoughts!!

Wrapping up the topic, I would say that identity theft is a serious crime that can have devastating consequences if not controlled timely. 

Why is it important to have identity theft protection? So, by taking steps to protect your identity, private information, and credit reports, monitoring your financial accounts, and responding to the signs of any suspicious activity, you can now minimize the risk of becoming a victim easily.

For instance, if you have become a victim of any fraudulent activity, and you are thinking that what is step one if someone steals your identity, then you must read out the complete blog to assist in preserving yourself against any run-down. 

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