Identity Theft and You

"Deter, Detect, and Defend"

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Deter

Identity thieves utilize many different approaches to steal your personal information, and all for a multitude of reasons. However they justify their thievery and use you to prove their justification, you need to be protected as to not be made an example of. Make sure all your credit cards and debit cards are labeled "See ID" on the backs of them so identity thieves will not be able to make arbitrary purchases and rack up the bills for you. Allow only trusted organizations to your Social Security Number, no person requires this under pretenses other than for such things as employment or obtaining a driver's license, things considered of utmost importance. Be careful on the Internet, keep to only secured websites, especially when making online purchases and entering financial information in general, and remember to keep all of your intricate usernames and passwords.

Detect

The most important thing to do if you suspect you are the victim of identity theft, is to galvanize to action then. Signs that you might have had your personal information infringed upon are new charges to accounts that you did not make, incorrect information on your credit report, and calls from collection agencies. A credit report will contain all of your personal information, your credit history, your credit record inquiries from such people as employers, and your public records. A discrepancy in your credit report and your credit score will have severe repercussions such as your applications for loans will be denied and overburdening debts that you might not be able to pay off, and this is why it is so important for you to act while you suspect identity theft, start off my asking for free fraud detection alert on your credit report by Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Defend

Now we want to track that thief, but how we go about this? Close all tampered accounts that the thief has been using and keep detailed records of correspondence about the disclosure of your personal information. If the thief inquires about such things, you now have a idea of where the thief could be and his telephone number. However, modern thieves are those who have profound knowledge of the Internet and can disguise their contacts through such things as randomizing their IP addresses to hide their location. This makes it especially important to contact the police and the Federal Trade Commission, who have departments dedicated to catching an identity thief, as well as follow up all contacts with them with certified mail. Now only do these institutions help you catch the thief, but also help you settle your liabilities that were incurred from the activities of the thief. These liabilities have some coverage under such legislation as the Truth in Lending Act, but the Federal Trade Commission is the best resource to use for getting back on your feet again after a case of identity theft. Once you do recuperate, you need to improve credit score and credit report again, you can do this by paying bills on time including paying off bills, keeping balances low on credit cards, and applying for new credit accounts only as needed.