Saturday, October 31, 2015

What to Do Before Filing an Identity Theft Report

identity theft report
If your information was compromised whether through a data breach or other hack, you could potentially be a victim of identity theft. This occurs when someone uses information about yourself to commit fraud. Examples include making purchases with your credit card or opening new accounts in your name. Both can have negative consequences on your credit score.

No matter how many precautions you take, your identity can be used to commit fraudulent activity. The following is what you should do before you file an identity theft report.

Immediately Contact Credit IssuersSome identity thieves will use your information to open a new account in your name.

This is why it is so important to regularly review your credit report as illegal activities as described above can easily go undetected for years. So the first step is to contact the company immediately where you know that fraud has occurred. You will need to explain your situation and that you were a victim of identity theft. Ask the credit issuers to either close or freeze the account so no one can make any new charges.

If your identity has recently been compromised, you should also change the logins and passwords to all your accounts. Be sure to use a strong password that includes numbers and other special characters.

Place a Fraud AlertThe next step is to contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your file. With a fraud alert on your report, businesses must verify your identity first before extending credit. This makes it harder for attackers to use your name to open new accounts. The alert will stay your report for 90 days.

Another measure you can take is placing a security freeze on your credit report. What this does is completely restrict access to your credit. You will need to contact each of the credit bureaus individually and pay a small fee which varies depending on where you live.

File a ReportThe next step is to file an ID theft report with your local police department. You will be asked to provide proof of your identity. Be sure to keep a copy of the report as you will need it later.

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