Identity theft occurs about every two seconds.
It is a tragic crime that can be very hard to recover from, but it is not impossible. Having a good identity theft insurance plan, such as NPEA’s ID Watchdog can make recovering your identity a little easier.
There are many steps to uncovering identity theft and recovering from it, so let us layout all the groundwork for you and make this process as pain-free and simple as possible.
Identity Theft 101 – Assessing the Damage
When you first find out that you have become a victim of identity theft, it is important to understand what that exactly means. Identity theft is a very serious crime, which involves someone using your personal information without your permission.
Identity thieves may steal information such as your:
- Social Security number
- Phone number
- Name and address
- Credit card or bank account information
- Medical insurance details
Types of Identity Theft
It is also important to understand that there are various types of identity theft. Two main variations of identity theft are current account fraud and credit report fraud.
Current Account Fraud
Many classify credit card fraud or current account fraud as current account fraud. This form of fraud is typically easier to resolve, as most credit card companies provide fraud protection programs. If you see charges and withdraws on your current accounts that were not made by you, you may be a victim of current account fraud.
Credit Report Fraud
Once every twelve months, you main obtain a free copy of your credit report from all three bureaus. It is important to obtain these copies, as it can help you avoid credit report fraud. When looking for credit report fraud, you should look for accounts and collections that you did not open. If you come across inquiries that are not your own, you may be a victim of credit report fraud.
If You Experience Identity Fraud: Report, Freeze, and Alert
After confirming that you have been a victim of some sort of identity fraud, the next steps can be summarized in three words: report, freeze, and alert.
Report Identity Theft
Reporting your presumed identity theft is essential. Using the Federal Trade Commission’s website for identity theft, you can report the theft, and then you will be provided with a recovery plan. This plan will walk you through each step of your recovery, track progress, and provide forms and letters for you to send out.
After you have reported your identity theft using the website provided by the FTC, the next step is to freeze your credit reports. Freezing your credit report prevents you from opening new accounts, as lenders will not be able to access your credit report. This prevents identity thieves from opening new accounts in your name. depending on the type of identity fraud, you may also want to freeze your credit cards.
Alert on Credit Reports
Finally, you should place fraud alerts on your credit report. When a fraud report is placed on your credit report, lenders must contact you to confirm your identity before opening any new accounts. You should also contact the companies that are involved in your identity fraud case, as they should freeze the compromised accounts.
ID Watchdog Can Help You Recover From Identity Theft
When you trust ID Watchdog with your identity protection, it can make the recovery process easier.
Just remember, one of the most important steps in recovering from identity theft is being prepared with identity theft protection insurance. It is better to be safe than sorry!