Trust us, it’s better to protect yourself from identity theft in the first place rather than trying to fix the mess after the fact.
Do these following six things to help keep your personal and financial information safe:
Always use strong passwords on every site.
Don’t give your information to anyone unless absolutely necessary.
Review all financial accounts regularly and report any errors or suspicious activity.
Review your credit report at least annually and correct any erroneous activity.
Enroll in a credit monitoring service.
Purchase identity theft insurance.
Now that you know how to protect yourself from identity theft, keep reading to find out what to do if your identity has been stolen and why identity theft insurance from Insurance Center Associates is a good idea.
What to Do If Your Identity Has Been Stolen
Even if you’ve done everything right, there is still a chance you’ll someday be affected by identity theft. Knowing what to do if your identity has been stolen can go a long way to mitigating the impact the crime has on both your financial and personal life.
The moment you realize you’ve been targeted, do these six things:
Contact the credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) and put a 90-day fraud alert on your credit report. This will notify lenders and creditors that they should be extra careful to identify your real identity before extending any credit when requested.
Report the identity theft to any institution you do business with who has been directly affected. For example, if your debit card number was stolen, report it to your bank.
File an Identity Theft Affidavit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and create an Identity Theft Report.
File a police report and get a copy of it.
If you believe you have been a victim of a fraudulent change-of-address, report it to the Postal Inspection Service.
Request a Quote for Identity Theft Insurance
While this list is a good start to protecting yourself from further crime being committed against you, it is not exhaustive. However, the time and energy required to deal with the cleanup of your credit certainly is exhausting. The average time it takes to correct identity theft problems is 60 hours and costs around $1,200 in out-of-pocket expenses. This is why being covered by Identity Theft Insurance is a good idea.
For more information on identity theft insurance, request a quote today!