Am I a Victim of Identity Theft?

by Eric Hartwell - Date: 2007-01-20 - Word Count: 319 Share This!

Being a victim of identity theft is something that everybody should dread. Identity crime is increasing and has serious consequences.

Stolen personal information can be used for all types of crimes including theft of money and even for terrorist pursuits. Criminals can set up a new life and career with your information so it pays to keep it safe and to protect yourself from being an identity theft victim.

When you see any strange transactions or unusual behaviour in any of your financial details or transactions, you should ask yourself "am I a victim of identity theft?" Until proven otherwise you should keep this in mind at all times.

If you find that you are indeed a victim of identity theft, keep calm. There is help available:

Immediately inform the authorities of what has happened and take steps to reduce the burden. For example, in the USA:

- Report the crime to the Federal Trade Commission - by telling them that you are a victim of identity theft, your complaints can be shared with other agencies and future problems may be lessened for everyone

- Contact one of the credit reporting agencies - in the US, Equifax, Experian or Transunion. They will share this information with the others. By doing this you will stop people opening accounts and obtaining credit under your name.

- Order a credit report from the agencies - this will show if there have been any further credit applications under your name and by checking regularly afterwards you will be alerted to future problems

- Immediately close any accounts that you think have been opened because of you being a victim of identity theft

- Notify your bank and credit card companies that you are a victim of identity theft.

- Notify the Department of Social Security that your identity has been stolen

Even if you are unsure about what has happened, always ask "am I a victim of identity theft" and take steps to look more closely at your personal and financial data.

Related Tags: identity theft, identity crime, am i a victim of identity theft, online identity fraud

For further information and resources on identity theft, internet crime and online security visit the New Identity Theft website operated by Eric Hartwell.

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