What To Do If You Are A Victim of Identity Theft
Identity theft is no joke. It destroys lives, reputations, and even companies every year. If you find that you are a victim of identity there are some things you can and should do to help mitigate the potential damages.
Make Some Calls
One of the first things that you want to do is grab your phone and make a few calls. You should call the fraud departments of all your credit and debit cards and accounts to inform them of the theft and freeze your accounts if necessary. You will want to call the FTC, and maybe also the police, a lawyer, and a financial litigation support specialist to assist you in filing a report and potentially dealing with the courts later on. If you think you know how the fraud occurred, then you also want to call and inform that company or person of the possible leak.
Go To the Bank
The next step you want to take is to head to the bank. Your bank can help you close your old accounts and open new ones. They can also help you figure out what automatic payments and direct deposits you might have had set up that will be affected by the change in your account information. Some banks can even print you a brand new debit card that very day. If your bank cannot get you a new card then you can at least withdraw some cash for the time being so you are not left without any money at all.
Help Yourself Recover
Be kind to yourself. There may be some rough times ahead but you are a victim and you must try not to blame yourself for this crime. Remember too that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you. There are even free counseling services and 24-hour hotlines that you can call to talk about the issues you are facing after having your identity stolen. Also, know that it is going to take some time, so be patient and do not lose hope.
Protect Yourself From Future Attacks
Once you have gotten back on your feet your fight against identity theft is still not over. Now you need to educate yourself on ways to ensure that it never happens to you again. Monitor your credit report and burn or shred all identifying, health-related, and financial documents. Consider getting professional protection services to give yourself additional peace of mind and secure your future as well.
Identity theft does not have to be your end. It may take a while, but through hard work and determination you can and will get your life back after an attack.