4 tips if you’re a victim of identity theft

We have posted about how to  protect yourself from identity theft, but even if you take all the proper precautions, your information could still end up in the wrong hands.  If you become a victim of identity theft, here are some tips on what to do.

  1. Take action.

As soon as you notice unauthorized charges, take action.  Contact the card company and dispute the charges.  The company will likely issue a new card and card number and canceling the stolen one.  Also, a proactive step is to freeze your credit.  This stops anyone from opening an account in your name if you have concerns about your social security number being leaked.

  1. Check all your accounts.

Make sure that the attack did not affect other accounts.  People often has the same or similar log-in credentials across multiple accounts.  Change all passwords to ensure hackers cannot easily jump from one account to another. Remember to create different and unique passwords for each account (use a password manager to keep track of multiple accounts).

  1. Contact the Federal Trade Commission.

Being a victim of identity theft can be an overwhelming experience.  The attack can have lifelong implications if not handled properly.  If you are not sure on how to handle this yourself, victims can work with the FTC to create an identity theft recovery plan.

  1. Monitor all accounts.

Attackers may not take action right away or may try to use your information again.  Closely monitor accounts for months after the first detection, and if more fraudulent charges appear, then the attackers stole additional personal information beyond payment information. A multitude of free services are out there, including alerts providing by credit card companies, to ensure that you are aware of all credit related actions with your social security number.

Identity theft is stressful and not ideal. Follow these steps to ease the resolution process.