Known as the fastest growing type of financial fraud, Identity theft has become a lucrative business for criminals. With as little information as your social security number, it’s possible to get a hold of enough of your personal information to clean out your existing accounts, set up fake accounts, and ultimately run up huge debts in your name.
It is significant to protect your privacy and be on the watch against identity theft. If you have ever asked yourself "what to do if you become a victim of identity theft" and how to protect yourself in future the information below is for you.
How to spot if you're a victim of identity theft?
It may take a long time for you to figure out if you have been a victim of identity theft; however there are some signs that can help you spot if something is amiss.
1. Receiving a notification of a debt or bank account that you do not recognize
2. Getting a welcome letter for a credit card you did not apply for
3. Getting more amount on your credit bill then you have actually spent
4. Getting turned down for credit unexpectedly
5. Post going missing
6. Any unfamiliar transaction on your bank or card statement
7. Unknown expenses on your credit card statement
What to do if your identity has been stolen?
1. Get in touch with all the relevant lenders, credit card companies and banks immediately and make sure to provide the proof of the fraud
2. Report the fraud immediately
3. Once you have reported the theft and contacted the lender, they are responsible for undertaking further investigation and reporting the matter to the police
4. Get the fraudulent accounts cancelled and removed from your credit report as quickly as possible
5. Change passwords and PIN numbers
6. Request a credit freeze
How to avoid becoming an identity theft victim?
There is no need to be paranoid about identity theft. All you have to do protect yourself is use an online reputation management service. These services monitor, alert, and help users via the web to manage their reputation online and provide complete identity theft protection. It detects any misuse of your reputation, enables browser privacy, removes cookies and sends instant alerts if someone tries to exploit your reputation online. Use privacy protection sites to:
1. Protect your personal information that is publically available online
2. Get instant alert you there is a risk of identity theft or credit fraud
3. Stop email spam