How to Protect Your Identity If It’s Stolen

Being a victim of identity theft is often disturbing and unsettling, and may come with feelings of helplessness and despair. But there are ways to protect yourself if you’ve had an ID card or other document or personal information taken.

If you act quickly, you can often avoid any mishaps and beat the thief before they even begin to take advantage of your identity. There are a number of steps to follow if you’ve had your ID card or other personal information taken from you.

Freeze your credit accounts immediately

As soon as you know that someone is using your identity, freeze your credit account. This ensures that the perpetrator cannot use your ID for credit purposes. This is important no matter if your ID card, credit card, or checkbook has been stolen; all can be used to forge your identity and charge up your credit line or open new ones.

Call to report a missing ID card, credit card, or other type of identifying document

In the case of a bank card or ATM card, immediately call your bank and have them cancel the old card. If you have a credit card, call the company and report it stolen; they will cancel the card and issue you a new one. Call the federal credit bureaus and let them know you’ve been a victim. This is important whether or not you believe your card was stolen or lost.

Check all other accounts for suspicious activity

This is important, especially if you have mortgages, loans, and similar accounts. Also monitor your bank account and any online accounts you may have. Your information can be taken online, so it’s always a good idea to check on those accounts and files.

Check your credit and bank account at least once a day for several months

It is imperative that you keep close track of your banking and other financial activities over the next few months after the theft. Even if you’ve reported stolen checks, credit cards, or ID cards to banks and the proper authorities and have had them cancelled, you still need to keep track of anything out of the ordinary on your credit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

6 − two =