What to do if you think you have become a victim of identity theft

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By: tiarajoseph11
on 4th Nov,2016

You can file online and print a copy to show the police while filing a report.
What to do if you think you have become a victim of identity theft

It is always better to take precautions so that you can prevent yourself from being a victim of identity theft and save your personal information from the fraudsters. However, even after safeguarding your personal financial information from others, if you become a victim, you need to follow certain things, which are discussed below.

1 File a complaint with the FTC

Filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a must when you suspect being a victim of identity theft. You can file online and print a copy to show the police while filing a report. Also file a police report as you might have to show proof that you had reported the fraud activity to the police.

2 Place a fraud alert with an NCRA

Once you suspect that you have been a victim of identity theft, you should at once contact one of the National Credit Reporting Agencies, namely, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion and place a fraud alert in order to reduce the chances of any new accounts opened in your name. The agency, which you inform, will likely inform the other two agencies. Placing a fraud alert also qualifies you to get a credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies, absolutely free of cost.

3 Check for any virus attack in your computer

You should check whether or not there is any virus attack in your computer, especially if you access bank accounts online from your computer. If there is any malicious program in your computer, then it can help the hacker to steal your sensitive personal financial information, like your bank account and credit card information. So, it is better to run anti-virus program if you suspect there's any malicious software in your computer.

4 Check your credit reports

After you suspect that you have been a victim of identity theft, order your credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies after about 30 days. Check your reports to find out whether or not any new accounts have been opened in your name, if you find any, immediately report it to the CRAs.

Apart from following these steps, you should also keep a record of all your actions. Make a note of the phone numbers you are calling, the people you're talking to, the dates, the mails along with the faxes you're sending to people. Send all letters through certified mails and keep record of all correspondence so that you can produce them if required in future.

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