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What to Do If You Are a Victim of Identity Theft

Helpful Tips from a Professional Information Management Team

Decades ago, you didn’t need to be as concerned about losing your identity. It seemed that most thefts were of tangible assets. The advent of the internet and the ease of its use have made identity theft a lucrative venture for criminals. Why steal a car when you can buy a new one using someone else’s credit and name? Unfortunately, identity theft is big business and doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. 

You can do many things to limit your exposure so that you don’t end up as a victim. For example, watching what you post on social media and dropping your outdated documents at a professional shredding company instead of throwing them out, are good starters for ensuring safety. However, what do you do if you do become the victim? What reasonable steps can you take to get your life (and identity) back on track?

6 Tips to Recover After Experiencing Identity Theft

Becoming a victim of identity theft causes endless frustration and stress. Not only that, but it will also affect your future until you can get things squared away. You can find many government websites that provide tips and where you can file complaints. For example, the Florida Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission are two such sites. In addition to these helpful sites, here are some tips to help you recover from identity theft:

  1. Keep a log of all conversations. You will spend a lot of time speaking with authorities and financial institutions; so much so that it will be challenging to keep track of everything unless you log it. Things to track include dates, names, and phone numbers. Additional items to note are time spent and expenses incurred while working on your recovery. You may be able to request restitution if this goes to court. 
  2. Use snail mail. Even in this day of quick responses because of the Internet, following up with hard copy documents confirming conversations is helpful. You will want to send all correspondence via certified mail. You will even want to use the return receipt requested feature from the USPS. 
  3. Keep copies of everything. Any letters and other documents you receive should be kept safe. It will help you keep track of things, too.
  4. Put a fraud alert on your credit report with all three agencies. To help prevent thieves from opening any more accounts, contact the credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your account. You only need to contact one of them, as they are required to share this information with each agency. 
  5. Order a free copy of your credit report. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each agency. Order the report and review it with a fine-toothed comb, looking for inquiries and new accounts you did not initiate.
  6. Close accounts you believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.  You will need to speak to each company’s security or fraud department to close the accounts and notify them of the theft. Be sure to follow up with them in writing.

Get Your Life Back with Help from the Pros

Talk with an information management company that cares about your identity. The team at Crown Information Management understands how identity theft can wreak havoc on people and companies. Our well-trained and dependable team has the know-how and equipment to destroy documents you have with our shredding service. We can also house your vital documents in our safe, secure facility, away from criminals. Look to us for all your document storage and destruction needs. 

For experienced help with media destruction, records management, and document storage, call Crown Information Management. You can reach us at 800-979-9545 or contact us online to learn more about our services. Put our team to work for you. We are a SOC1 Level 2 Report,NAID AAA, and PCI Certified company.