Due to the advancement in technology and the extensive usage of social media platforms to meet people and exchange of ideas and information, fraudsters and crooks are also using these technologies to deceit others.
Identity theft is at its all-time high. Many unknowing victims are devastated to find out that their credit line, credit cards, and hard earned money are used for financial trickery. They are the ones who suffer the repercussion even though they are innocent of the crime. It’s good that BetterHelp is able to provide services that can help individuals cope in distressing situations such as this.
With this modus operandi, each one of us should be wary of the habits that may seem harmless such as throwing our financial reports in the bins, unlocked mailbox, online shopping and giving out information as verification on the phone through a customer service representative.
When identity theft is suspected, following the recommended steps can mean a significant difference in containing the damage. Do not hesitate to take action. Don’t allow yourself to be part of the statistics that reported that only 1 of 10 identity theft victims report the incident to the police. The recommended recovery identity checklist includes these steps.
Act quickly is essential in recovering your identity back.
Abrupt reporting of the incident in your credit card issuer and banks will mean faster flag on your account to prevent further damage.
Keep a physical copy of your accounts and details of your credit and debit card
A helpful reminder: store it in a secure place that can be easily accessed in case you need to report your loss or compromised privacy. They would need to get specific data like your account numbers and ask a little about your purchasing history as a verification process.
File a fraud alert even though identity theft is just suspected.
This alert status will bring notification when your credit is processed and is attempted to be used. It will immediately prompt another form or method of verification of the user’s identity. This will serve as a deterrent. This fraud alert is done by calling one of the three major credit bureaus directly. It wouldn’t matter which one you will contact since it will automatically alert the other two agencies. The alert will stay for 90 days unless you will call and remove the alert status.
Initiate a credit freeze
A credit freeze is done when you are 100% sure that somebody is using your identity. To perform this service, the cardholder should call each credit bureau directly. Credit freeze status will mean that the banks and other companies that are processing opening line of credit for you will be denied access to your credit report; thus making the process difficult for the perpetrator.
File an identity theft report
File a report with the Federal Trade Commission. This government agency is assigned to protecting consumers against fraud such as identity theft. Once the report is filed, and it can be done online. They will send you an Identity Theft Affidavit, print the affidavit and keep as a record for fraudulent charges lawsuit later on.
File a report with the local police
Call the authorities and ask what are the needed pieces of evidence or information for them to scrutinize and for the case to progress.