What Should You Do If You Become a Victim of Identity Theft?

what should you do if you become a victim of identity theft

The what should you do if you become a victim of identity theft?  identity theft early, the damage can be relatively minimal. It can take time, however, to undo the damage done by criminals who buy your PII in data breaches or on the Dark Web, or steal your information through phishing or other scams. And, even after you’ve cleaned up the mess and have taken steps to prevent future fraud, there may still be some lingering effects on your credit scores.

The first thing to do is contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a report. This will trigger a police investigation and can help find the fraudster. This is particularly important in cases of criminal identity theft or if you’re experiencing child identity theft.

Stolen Identity, Reclaimed Security: Step-by-Step Actions to Take If You’re a Victim of Identity Theft

It’s also a good idea to check all your bank and credit card statements, as well as any other accounts where you have sensitive personal information. Check them for unfamiliar charges, which is a common sign of ID theft.

If you suspect that your PII has been compromised, it’s also a good idea to change any passwords or log in information on those accounts. You should also consider placing a security freeze with the three major credit reporting agencies, or CRAs (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). These powerful tools are free and can help prevent criminals from accessing your credit reports while you work to clean up the damage they’ve caused.

Other recovery actions include working with debt collectors on fraudulent debts that were incurred in your name, contacting your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles or licensing agency to place a flag on your driver’s license number, and reaching out to medical insurance providers to ensure an identity thief hasn’t used your information to receive healthcare services.

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