Due to the current increase in identity theft, solutions and prevention tips are becoming a necessity for everyone. Many victims of identity theft are unaware that they have been targeted until months after the original crime. Your credit card bills could be missing for a month, and when you contact the financial institution, they tell you that there has been an address change that you did not authorize. You might be applying for a mortgage renewal, and discover that your great credit has been ruined by a scammer. This time lag gives the scammer a head start at spending all of your hard-earned money.
Most credit card companies have implemented identity theft protection to help you if you become a victim. You shouldn’t assume that you have protection because you deal with a major financial institution. Have them send you information about the type of protection you are eligible for, and how to access it if you ever need it. This type of information you want to have before you discover you need it.
Some specialty businesses provide identity theft solutions. They will help you take steps to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft. They will give you checklists, internet references, and clear steps to take to resolve identity theft problems. Specially trained staff is available to help you fill out police reports, contact creditors and credit bureaus, as well as the FTC. They work with you to resolve the numerous problems that you will encounter as a victim of identity theft.
The best identity theft solution is to protect yourself, and acquire the information you need to keep yourself from becoming a victim. Guard your personal information, and only give it out if you are sure it is needed.
If you receive a call telling you that you have won a valuable prize, and they just need to verify your information, ask them to send you a written application. If they refuse, hang up the phone.
Regularly check your financial statements. Keep track of your charges, so you will know if any fraudulent charges have occurred. If you don’t receive your statements, contact the financial institution immediately. Your statements could be sent to an alternate address so you won’t notice the extra charges on your bill.
Never give out your social security number on the internet. If you frequently access your financial accounts online, run your anti-spy ware program before accessing your accounts. Frequently update your virus protection and anti-spy ware programs.
A common identity theft fraud is to send out emails that appear to be an official correspondence from a company that you do business with. They will tell you that there is a problem with your account, and they need you to send your social security number, or your credit card number to them to solve the issue. If you receive this type of request, do not respond to it, or click on the link in the email. You can either call the company to verify your information, or go to their website by typing their web address directly to the browser address bar.
As the incidence of identity theft increases, the criminals continue to develop new ways of attempting to get your personal information. The majority of them would rather take the easy way out, and victimize people who are unprotected, and unaware of the steps you can use to protect yourself. Be vigilant about protecting your personal information, and keeping your computer secure. That is the best identity theft solution.