Identity theft is a growing problem for millions of Americans. Over nine million people are affected by identity theft each year. If you are a victim, it can be life changing. However, there are a variety of things you can do to both prevent identity theft and get your life back on track should you become a victim. |
One of the most important steps in avoiding identity theft is to review your consumer credit reports each year. You can contact the three main credit bureaus and request copies of your credit history. This will give you an accurate idea of any open credit you have, as well as any major purchases made using your credit. It will also give you a view of how many times your credit report has been pulled.
Anytime you have documents with personal information, you will want to shred them, versus simply throwing them in the trash. You can purchase a shredder fairly cheaply. Be sure to purchase one that cross shreds, so that your documents cannot be pieced back together.
You can also take your mail directly to the US Postal mailbox, versus placing your mail in your house mailbox. This helps avoid criminals being able to snatch your bills or other personal information you are sending through the mail.
If you are going away for any period of time, you will want to make sure that you completely stop your mail. You can request that the post office hold your mail until you return. Likewise, you do not want to leave any mail in your mailbox over night. As soon as your mail comes, bring it inside so that thieves cannot get a hold of it. If you have lost a credit card, report it immediately. This way, a block can be put on the account or if need be, it can be closed completely and a new number can be issued. As well, if you have requested a new credit and have not received it in a timely manner, be sure to contact the company to let them know. Once you received your credit card, be sure to sign it immediately.
Should you suspect you have been a victim of identity theft, you will need to take some immediate steps. Contact the credit bureaus and have a fraud alert placed on your credit. Next, you will want to contact all of your creditors and banks, both by phone and in writing and report the crime. Be sure to record the names and phone numbers of each person you have talked with and discussed your case with, as well as the date and time of that discussion.
You will also want to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. They have counselors than can help you in resolving any issues you may have. They can help you get your life back under control and help you move forward.
Identity theft is an increasing problem that affects millions of Americans. There are a variety of different steps you can take to help avoid identity theft. Likewise, should you become a victim of identity theft, there are steps you can take to get your life back on track and regain control of your financial situation. For more insights and additional information about finding Identity Theft Help please visit our web site at http://www.idtheftprotectiontips.com
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