ID Theft Prevention and Recovery

Read some information below!

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is a form of stealing someone's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by taking on that person's identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name.

5 Ways to Prevent Identity Theft

1. Choose good passwords and pins-Use words and numbers no one else would be able to guess even if they related to other personal information.

2. Protect your computer- A strong and regularly updated firewall, anti-virus program and anti-spyware program will provide most of the protection an individual needs.

3. Beware phishing scams- Phishing involves emails being sent to you, asking you to verify certain things such as passwords, account numbers or credit/social security details. Any email seeking this sort of information should be an immediate red flag for you.

4.Don't accidentally on-sell or give away your identity details- When you get rid of your computer, make sure to get rid of all of your information first. Ideally, restore it to the factory settings––this will usually be explained in the manual that came with your computer or can be found doing an online search. If you're not sure how, take it to a reputable retailer who specializes in computers and ask for help.

5. Take care when shopping online- Always check the security symbols when using an online site for shopping. If the lock icon encryption is not there, do not give out credit details. Keep a separate credit card just for online purchases. This will make it easier to cancel if something bad does happen and your other credit card for "in real life" can still be used unhindered. Don't store information on any store's website. It may be convenient but it's also a possible loss to you if the site is hacked.

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How to Recover from Identity Theft

First, don't panic. Panic is your worst enemy in any situation because it makes you take actions that aren't at all useful. Instead, try to remain calm and prepare to fight. It could take a long time before everything is back to normal, but the following steps can help you regain control of you identity.

1. Discovering your identity was stolen is usually shocking. One key to recovering from identity theft quickly is to act quickly. Reporting the theft to the right agencies is essential.

2. After you file identity theft complaints with the FTC and your local law enforcement agencies, what's next? Instead of waiting to find out what areas of your life will be affected by identity theft, you can begin monitoring your credit report and managing any financial damages that have done. Since most identity theft is actually discovered because of the financial damage that's done, this is a very important step in your recovery.

3. Even when you're moving quickly and handling everything properly, you'll encounter roadblocks on the way to recovering your identity. Some of those roadblocks can be cleared if

4. One mistake that identity theft victims make is assuming that once they've cleaned up the damage done by identity theft, it's over. Not true. In fact, it's not all that uncommon for identity thieves to strike the same victims over and over again. To prevent thieves from striking repeatedly, you need to stay constantly monitor your credit and be vigilant against future identity theft understand your rights as a consumer.

8 Signs That Your Identity Has Been Stolen

1. Your credit card gets declined for an unknown reason.

2. Mystery charges start appearing on your credit or debit card statements.
3. Merchandise you didn't order shows up at your house.
4. A debt collector calls you for a debt you've never heard of.
5. Your monthly billing statements stop showing up

6. Your friends receive emails from your address that you never sent.

7. Your credit score takes an unexpected dive.

8. The personal information appearing on your credit report is inaccurate.