Identity theft is on the rise in America. Con artists want
something for nothing. Unfortunately many innocent people
get hurt because of the fraudulent activities of others.
Restoring your good name and credit can take much longer to
repair than it took to be destroy. The worst part about the
whole thing is that you are the one responsible for
restoring your identity even though you are not the one who
used your name fraudulently. We will discuss some of the
simple things you can do to get your identity on the road to
recovery and simple things you can do to keep it there.
There are varying degrees of identity theft. For example, if
someone uses your credit card once or twice fraudulently and
you find out and put a stop to it , you may not have such a
hard time repairing the damage. On the other hand if someone
gets all your information, your Social Security Number, your
birthday and other pertinent information, he can set up
false credit card accounts and run up large bills in a
Con artists can use your information over the phone and
internet to get phone cards, etc., and to purchase just
about anything as long as they have a credit card in your
name. If this goes on for an extended period of time it can
be very serious to your credit, and large fraudulent
expenses may be incurred. The size of the fraudulent charges
and the length of time the theft has gone unnoticed can make
it very difficult to clean up your credit and identity. Many
lending companies will take responsibility if fraudulent
activities are reported quickly.
If the fraudulent activity goes on for a long period of time
with large expenses incurred, lending companies make it much
more difficult to clear your record and name. There are many
questions and hoops these institutions will require you to
Identity Theft Prevention You Tube
When you find yourself a victim of fraudulent activity there
are some things you should do immediately. Call the lending
company and put a stop to the fraudulent activity as soon as
you find out. Depending on the severity of the fraud, you
may have to have your credit company cancel your current
cards and reissue new ones to you. If your name and identity
have been used fraudulently on a wide scale, you will need
to contact every company that you have done business with.
This can be large task in itself. Make them aware of what is
going on. If something looks suspicious to them, have them
contact you. In cases where your Social Security Number has
been used fraudulently, contact the government Social
Security office. (The government web site
http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft also provides a wealth of
information on this topic.) They can help you get things
straightened out. They deal with this far too often and know
what to do in order to help you clean up your credit and
Social Security Number. You may also want to contact state
government web sites, where you will find further agencies
and information to help you.
It is also a good idea to keep good documentation when you
first find out about the fraudulent activity. Begin by
recording the names of the people you talk to at the
different institutions you communicate with. By keeping a
good log and documentation you protect yourself and can back
up what has happened if needed. Law enforcement may also
find your documented information useful in prosecuting the
individual or individuals responsible.
There are a number of things you can do to protect your
identity once you have everything cleared up (or to prevent
it in the first place):
* Mail payments directly at the post office; never leave
them in the mail box.
* Refuse to give personal information to people who ask for
it in surveys.
* Be very careful giving your information over the internet;
be sure you know the site is secure and reputable.
* If you normally carry your Social Security card in your
wallet, take it out and put it in a safe place. If your
wallet were to be lost with that card in it, it would be an
open door for thieves.
* Dispose of personal information by shredding or burning.
* Be careful when using credit or debit cards that people
are not close enough to get your personal information (such
as at an ATM or a terminal at a checkout stand, etc.). Be
aware of the new camera cell phones that can visually
capture your information from a short distance away. Block
visual access with your body or your hand, etc.
* If you can afford it, hire a reputable credit watch
company to watch your credit and notify you of any
* Finally, do your best to protect information and be
cautious. Use an identity theft protection service and sign up for a free or paid credit monitoring plan. (See http://www.stopidentityfraud.org/credit-monitoring-services for more information on this).
Remember it will take a long time to get your credit and
identity cleaned up. Be patient in your rebuilding efforts.
If your situation is dire, you may need to seek professional
help. Do your homework before going with any identity
restoration consulting firm. Good Luck.