Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes today. The unfortunate truth is that innocent victims are left with the burden of cleaning up the mess that was no fault of their own. Here are just a few things that you will need to do if your identity is stolen.
The first thing that you’ll have to do is call your banks to disallow any further transactions on the account that have questionable transactions on them. While you’re at it, it’s essential and required to go through all transactions, no matter how far in the past, to find discrepancies and potential fraudulent transactions. This can take days to go through because you will have to dig deep into past bank statements to ensure you’re doing a thorough job.
Next, you need to call all THREE credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, to freeze your credit to ensure the problem does not persist. We all know the frustration of sitting on hold while trying to speak with a live person, add the fact that you’re trying to freeze your credit because someone wronged you. How frustrating!
Get the Federal Trade Commission involved… most people don’t know how to do this, and it may feel like you’re walking into a dark cave without a light or a guide. Once you figure out how to do this, you must PROVE your innocence. The FTC will file an Identity Theft Report. Sometimes to complete the process you might have to file a police report, too.
The hardest step of restoring your own identity is closing accounts you did not create. It’s vital that you find all accounts: utility, healthcare, credit card, mortgage, auto loan, and more; some of which are very difficult to track down. Once you’ve compiled a list of fraudulent accounts, you must close all of them. While doing this, you must keep an accurate account of your actions so the companies won’t be able to come back to collect on overdue billing accounts because there was a lack of a paper trail and proof of your innocence.
After you’ve closed all fraudulent accounts, you must go back to the three credit bureaus to repair your credit score. All inaccurate information must be removed, or you will be affected indefinitely by those falsely low scores. With each credit bureau, you must provide documentation from the FTC that you were, in fact, a victim of identity theft.
Last, and in most cases, you will have to create new accounts for yourself because hackers and criminals already have vital information about your current accounts. This means, creating new email accounts, opening new bank accounts, changing computer passwords, and in rare situations, requesting a new Social Security Number.
The effects of data breach can lead to life altering identity theft and the process to prove your innocence and restore your identity can take precious hours of your life. Restoring your own identity can be done on your own, no doubt, but on average it will cost you $3519 out of pocket, according to IRTC Data Breach Reports, and take countless hours on hold trying to talk to someone who doesn’t care about your situation. Why would you waste the precious times in your life to fix something that wasn’t even your fault? That’s why we created LibertyID. We wanted to make sure that in these times where data breach and identity theft are ever increasing, your life is not affected. We restore your identity for you.
The bottom line is there’s really no better time than the present to become a LibertyID member for identity theft restoration protection. LibertyID provides expert, full service, fully managed identity theft restoration to individuals, couples, extended families* and businesses. LibertyID has a 100% success rate in resolving all forms of identity fraud on behalf of our subscribers.
*Extended families – primary individual, their spouse/partner, both sets of parents (including those that have been deceased for up to a year), and all children under the age of 25