Federal Trade Commission of the US received 1.4 million complaints about identity theft in 2018, reporting loss of 1.48 billion USD. With such a massive number of consumers getting affected by identity loss, it has become essential to take preventive measures.
Identity theft adversely affects the credit score of the victims. Luckily, the damages of identity theft to your credit status can be repaired by the use of the following steps.
Watch out the Clues of Identity Theft
Digitalization of financial resources has made it essential for consumers to protect their data from thieves. It is hard to find out clues indicating identity theft initially. Most of the victims reported that they suspected identity theft after incurring a financial loss.
The thieves do not wait long after breaching your data. A suspicious purchase you can’t remember, or an outstanding loan payment you are unaware of are the clues of identity theft. You should act vigilantly to report the possible identity theft for restoring your credit score.
Fraud Alert Activation on Credit Status
The US has three credit bureaus on the national level. These bureaus maintain the credit reports of consumers. If you are suspecting that you are the victim of identity theft; inform the credit bureaus for the fraud alert.
By activating a fraud alert, you notify the lenders that they should not honor new credit card requests before identity verification. Fraud alert remains active on credit report of the victim for 90 days, giving you the time to fight identity theft.
Thoroughly Analyze Your Credit Report
A credit report is an overview of a consumer’s payback capacity. It maintains the credit record of a consumer from the initial days of his credit history. Informing about the identity theft gives you free of cost access to your credit report immediately. Mark all the suspicious activities and notify the credit bureaus to correct it. Derogation in credit score due to identity theft is reversible and does not affect the victim’s credit status permanently.
Get Rid of Compromised Credit Instruments
Thieves order several credit cards and apply for the loans in the victim’s name. These compromised credit cards and loans should be called off immediately. Credit card issuers will close the existing compromised cards quickly after, you inform them about the suspicious activities. Newly issued credit cards and loans requested by the thieves should also be closed down before substantial damage.
Report Identity Theft to FTC
You should register your complaint to FTC about identity theft on its Official Site. FTC guides the identity theft victims throughout the process to clean the mess on credit reports.
FTC can help you to make personalized documentation for reporting and filing disputes with credit companies. FTC guided identity theft recovery plans some times do not include submitting a police complaint. However, if asked by any of the institutions, you can file Police reports by using your personalized report.
File The Dispute
After activating the fraud alert on credit report, that’s the right time to file disputes to neutralize the repercussions of identity theft. You should report all the compromised credit instruments to the respective companies. Every company has its way of dealing with the heinous act of identity theft.
Credit companies have separate departments for reporting fraudulent activities. Inform them about the unfortunate mishap and ask the complaint department to freeze compromised credit instruments. These companies can also help you to gather information about the initiation of fraudulent activities. This information will help the police to find out the culprit.
Identity theft is the scariest kind of cybercrime these days. The 1998 US government made identity theft a federal crime. It damages the social and financial reputation of the affected people. However, you can repair the damage done to your credit status by using the above-discussed steps.