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How to Prevent Identity Theft

There is only one word that describes identity theft, FRAUD. When someone steals your identity they not only steal your name but also control your credit history, credit score and have access to all of your assets. While you may  have spent years carefully managing your finances to give you a better chance to buy a house and lower interest rates for a car loans, the Identity theft fraudsters come through, ransack your accounts, and benefit from your hard work. This can happen in a blink of an eye and will leave you picking up all the pieces before you even have a chance to realize what happened.

Sounds frightening and difficult, right? That is why It is a good idea to have an identity theft protection service in place before you need it. This precaution will stop anyone other than you from accessing your information for illegal use.

How can you tell someone has stolen your identity? There are signs that the cautious person can catch early to avoid disaster. Check your statements for any charges that you don’t remember. Fraudulent charges may start small to avoid alarming anyone initially. Take notice of when you receive your bank, credit, and mortgage statements whether by email or postal mail. The thief could change your address without your knowledge to remain undetected. It is important to notice any changes like missing bills.  The best way to prevent identity theft is to monitor your credit report and enroll in an identity theft protection service. These companies will monitor your credit daily and prevent any unauthorized use of your name and social security number.

There are many levels of identity theft that occur every day, and each type has a specific solution. Therefore, you would need to identify the type of theft that has happened to you. The simplest form of identity theft is credit card fraud, which means someone has stolen your credit card number and used it. Usually, the credit card companies will reverse the charges and start their own investigation. Once the charges have been reversed, the next step is to call every one of your credit card companies and ask for a new account number and card. From the information of one credit card, the thief could now have your name, address, and social security number. This is all they need to steal your identity! Your next step should be to obtain a credit report and inspect it for any other fraudulent charges, loans, and accounts. So even smallest form of  identity theft is be difficult and time consuming.

There are many ways to obtain identity theft protection online. Once you contact the reporting agencies, tell them you have been the victim of identity theft and fraud, and they should give you a copy of your credit report. Everyone is entitled to one free credit report each year. You can review identity theft protection products to see their free trial offers for credit monitoring and identity theft protection services. You can also check comparison sites to view identity theft protection offers side-by-side to find the best one for your needs.

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Category: Personal Finance


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