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.