According to reports, as many as 9 million Americans are victims of identity theft every year. It is that prevalent and serious and so you have to know what to do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft. Like getting an Identity Theft Protection to protect yourself from identity theft. On that note, there are a lot of insurance companies who offer this kind of service. The monthly payment for this type of service ranges from $9-$15. But, this is not your only alternative, you can also protect yourself using the following precautionary measures.
Preventing Identity Theft
1. Regularly monitor your credit accounts, look out for irregularities like new accounts and purchases you did not make. So, that in case of identity theft, you can detect it early and respond accordingly.
2. Shred papers like bank slips and other documents which contain your personal information because some people will purposely look for them in your trash just to get your identity and use it for their own gain.
3. Keep important documents in a safe place. As much as possible you should not carry them everywhere with you so that you won’t lose them or have them stolen from you.
4. Do not give personal information easily, safeguard it by revealing as little as possible.
However, in case you become a victim make sure you report the crime to the proper authorities.
Reporting Identity Theft
1. Report as soon as possible to any of the three: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Notifying one of them will compell them to notify the other two. Doing this fraud alert will allow them to be more cautious about your account and to contact you before making any decision.
2. Inform the police of the crime and have them make an identity theft report, listing all of the fraudulent accounts. Make sure you have a copy of the report.
3. Submit a complaint at the Federal Trade Commission and provide them with the police report number. The FTC maintains information on identity theft which is shared nationwide with those who are trying to catch the perpetrators. Also, do not forget to fill out the ftc fraud affidavit form.
4. Inform credit companies about the identity theft, do it in person and in writing. Point out the fraudulent accounts and transactions so that they will know which ones you are not liable for.
In closing, identity theft is deplorable and should be stopped soon before it destroys more lives!