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Welcome to the ProtectMyID Blog

Lessons and stories from the front lines of fighting identity theft.

 

Empowering yourself after identity theft

Feb 03

 

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Having been a Fraud Resolution Agent, I’ve heard the tears on the other line of the phone as an identity theft victim dealt with the powerful emotions of this devastating crime. Finding out your identity has been stolen is an extremely difficult situation that no one is ever quite prepared for.  You’ll face anger that the crime has happened.  Even worse, you may face feelings of helplessness and powerlessness as you deal with the frustrations of cleaning up the mess that a fraudster left behind.

If you’ve been the victim of identity theft or know someone that has, it is very important to know what to do and how to take action to ebb the tide of destruction caused by the crime. Below, I’ve listed some general guidelines to take you through the process of helping yourself recover from identity theft.  

1. Don’t Panic

Being in panic mode is your worst enemy when you are fighting identity theft because it will make you unfocused. Instead, try to remain calm and prepare to work through it. 

2. Create a File

Create an identity theft file for yourself documenting any correspondence with representatives, creditors and the credit bureaus.  Here are things you should keep track of for your identity theft file:

– Keep track of the unique number that your credit reports have been assigned
– Save all credit reports, police reports, and other documents that you acquire
– Keep a log of every single conversation that you have and include dates, names and phone numbers
– Note how much time and money you spent in the event that you are ever able to seek restitution
– Keep copies of all of your letters and of any replies that you receive back

3. Examining Your Credit Reports

When you have copies of your credit reports, make sure you go through them thoroughly and identify any fraudulent activities.  Address any false information to both the credit bureaus and to the credit issuers in writing, using the instructions that the credit Bureaus provide.

4. Check The Reports Again In a Few Months

These measures are certainly a start to gain your power back, but they may not prevent new fraudulent accounts from being opened.  For this reason, you should request copies of your credit reports in a few months and review them over for any fraudulent activities.  You can also do this conveniently by being a member with ProtectMyID.com.

4 Comments Add your comment

  1. Bob
    Feb 03 at 20:35

    You recommend creating an identity theft file to keep track of everything. What’s the point of having this if you’re doing most of the work yourself to resolve the fraud issue?

    [Reply]

    ID-Alvin Reply:

    Hello Bob and great question. We recommend this in the event a person reading this entry does not have the ProtectMyID.com product. However if anyone was enrolled, our Fraud Resolution Agents do create a “Fraud Case” file if you happen to be a fraud victim. This includes documenting everything from an identity theft police report you have filed to phone conversations with creditors, and plus more, into our data system. This would be a convenient way for anybody to keep track of their records in the event an important document from a creditor gets misplaced or a police reports gets lost. With how busy people are these days, who wants the hassle of organizing or keeping track of an identity theft file when a designated fraud agent can do it for you with just a phone call away. Again, this is a recommendation and we don’t want to discourage the practice of anyone creating an identity theft file if needed. Not only are we here to educate people about what they can do to protect themselves or how to be proactive form identity theft, but also the benefits of having a product that can alleviate the stress of having to go through identity theft on your own. Hope this information helps or you can check out the ProtecMyID.com website.

    [Reply]

  2. jenny b
    Feb 04 at 13:30

    that’s a great list. in that panic of the moment i’m sure i would have forgotten to create a file. i think the police would want parts of the file to make a case against the thief too.

    [Reply]

    ID-Alvin Reply:

    Hello Jenny! Thanks for your feedback. In most cases, when an identity theft report is to be filed the officer may request to see a letterhead letter from the credit/banking institution showing you’re claiming fraud before they will consider filing a police report. Or, you can request the credit/banking institution to provide you a fraud affidavit so you can file an identity theft report which a ProtectMyID.com Fraud Resolution Agent can assist with a conference call. Either way, it’s important to provide some kind of doc when filing an identity theft report and to keep everything that you receive from your credit/banking institutions.

    [Reply]

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