If your identity is stolen it can be a frustrating and exasperating experience. The first thing that is recommended is to pull your credit report. You can get your credit report for free annually and it’s a great starting point to unravel what has happened.
Put a “freeze” on your social security number by calling the companies that have extended credit to you fraudulently. Explain to them that you didn’t make any orders and that you have had your identity stolen. Most companies are very willing to work with you on resolving the situation.
Many people put a specific word on their accounts so that if they wish to order from the company that was used fraudulently they can do so at a later date. It can be any word that you wish to use. It gives an added layer of protection so that you don’t have to worry about someone using your identity at that particular company again.
Be sure to call your bank and let them know as well. Your bank can flag your account and help you to recoup any money that has been stolen from you. This is very important so that you don’t wind up spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars fraudulently.
Look your credit report over very carefully. If you don’t recognize a company that is listed on there or if you didn’t make any purchases from a company that is listed on there, be sure to notify that particular company. In many cases, the company can give you a wealth of information about your identity theft. They can often tell you where the call or order originated from and that will give you the city and state.
File a police report. Go down to the police station and file a report that your identity was stolen. This gives you a paper trail and it protects you should a company decide not to believe you about the particular charges that they are charging you.
You’ll get a report number and should use this information when you are calling the companies that have charges pending that you aren’t willing to pay since you never made the orders in the first place.
Your credit report also has space where you can add in your own personal comments. You will want to add in the police report number and any other details pertaining to the identity theft that you can.
The social security administration gives you a social security number when you apply for it. That number is your social security number for life. Even if you’ve had an identity theft you’re not going to be assigned another number. There are several reasons for this.
The first reason is that you’ve already begun to accumulate credits in your number and those aren’t transferable to another number. The second is that it’s a personal identification number that is yours alone. Even if someone does steal it, it’s usually only a matter of time until they’re found out and the criminal activity is put to a stop.
This makes it rough on you in the beginning and it’s certainly not easy to track down. In some cases, the thief isn’t found but you can repair your credit by taking the proper steps mentioned above to ensure that your good name remains good.
There are several ways that you can avoid identity theft. Be sure that whenever you’re using your debit or credit card that you’re keeping your receipts. Make sure that when you enter PIN numbers that you’re keeping your hand over the box that you put the number into.
If something looks off on an ATM or an automated machine such as at a gas station, don’t use that machine. Many identity thieves put devices on regular machines and then come back and pick them up full of account and PIN numbers. You can avoid this by being mindful of units that appear loose or to not really go with the equipment that you’re using. It’s better to go elsewhere if you’re suspicious than to risk having your identity stolen.
Keep in mind that you should never give your social security number out to just anyone. You’ll need to give it to a loan officer, for medical purposes and a few other situations but you won’t need it on an average everyday situation.
You’ll need your social security number for employment, but not for other purposes. You can read tips on their website to help you stay safe and keep your number safe. Be sure that when you’re using your personal information on a website that you’re using a secure site that starts with “https”. This means that the site is secure and you will have less chance of someone stealing your social security number to use in a fraudulent fashion.
Social security numbers will remain the same throughout your entire life. Most states are now assigning social security cards before a baby ever leaves the hospital. Keep this card secure and don’t keep the card with you, rather, store it in a safe place and memorize your social security number. If you need to get a new card contact, you may want to consider www.applicationfiling.com.
If you’re in a public place such as a restaurant and you’re paying with your credit card, follow your credit card or stay right with it when you pay. Never allow a waitress or waiter to walk off with your card and come right back. This may be slightly inconvenient, but it may save you from an identity theft.
More and more companies are starting to have a waiter or waitress take the card and come back. If this is the case, consider taking the right amount of cash out of an ATM beforehand or going up to the counter to pay.
This will save you a lot of time and money if you have your identity stolen. Since social security card numbers are for life, you want to protect this number at all times. It takes a long time to recoup your personal identity if it’s been stolen.