Defense Against Crime

06/05/2014

Identity theft victims grow at double digit rate

Filed under: Crime Prevention,Cyber Crimes,Safety Tips,SCAM ALERT — peppereyes @ 9:07 AM
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Identity theft victims grow at double digit rate (click this link for the article)121712_1909_SecuringYou1.jpg

 1 in 12 Americans will become victims of identity theft. – Today Show / MSNBC

How Can I Tell It Has Happened?
Your identity can be stolen by someone simply obtaining your bank statements, your credit card applications, checks from your trash or mail, purse or wallet,  or getting your debit/credit card number from a corporate database.   Thanks to the digital age your identity can also be stolen using all the things you are posting on social media, and well as malware you downloaded to your computer that is unknowingly sending information from your computer to an identity thief. Once a person has this information, he can wreak havoc upon your good name. Since the crime may take days or even weeks before you noticed what happened, it`s easy for the criminal to commit several crimes before you`ve realized what occurred. This crime leaves your credit history in a mess and can take years to rebuild it.

Warning signs someone may have stolen your identity:

  • Checks disappear from your checkbook.
  • Your credit report shows accounts you didn`t open.
  • A call from a collection agency about a debt you didn`t incur.
  • Bank and billing statements don`t arrive on time.
  • You encounter problems with your medical insurance
  • A bill from a credit account you didn`t open.
  • Unauthorized charges on your debit, credit , long distance or bank accounts.
  • There is a warrant out for your arrest due to fraud.
  • You receive notice that your mail is being forwarded to another address
  • Unable to access your online account
  • You are turned down for a loan, mortgage or other forms of credit because of unauthorized debts on your credit report.

What Do I Do?
If you think you are a victim:

  • File a report with your local police department and keep a copy of the report for your personal records.
  • Obtain a copy of your credit report and look for any suspicious activity.
  • Report any suspicious charges and accounts to the appropriate credit issuers and credit bureaus immediately via the phone and in writing. Cancel the accounts.
  • If your purse or wallet is stolen, cancel all cards immediately and get replacements. Also, put a “stop payment“ on all lost or stolen cards.
  • Contact the three main credit reporting companies to put a fraud alert on your credit report.
    The three main credit reporting bureaus are Experian in Texas, Equifax in Georgia, and Trans Union in Pennsylvania. You can report fraud or get a copy of your credit report by reaching one of these companies. Once you report to one bureau, the other two agencies will be sent the report. A fraud alert will be put on your account by each company and you will be sent a copy of your credit report.
  • You will think need to make calls and record the date and contact person you talked to and report the information.
  • Send a copy of the police report to each if the affected parties about your identity theft.
  • Keep all documents related to the incident.
  • Spend lots of time explaining and showing it wasn’t you who open a credit account in Arizona, when you stay in Georgia.

Clearing up identity Theft is a nightmare as you have to really convince the people 2000 miles away you really didn’t buy a house and car in another state.  Consider getting GREAT idenity theft  insurance.

See Also

 

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