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Protect Yourselves From Identity Theft

Have you heard about theft? Or do you even know what damage it will do to your credit account? If not, then here are a few things to give you an idea. Your credit account is like your invisible money and your reputation within a card and a compiled in a set of papers.

All of your transactions are recorded, whether you want it to be or not. It will show everything about you, how responsible you are with your money, bills etc. All of that will attract thieves and if you’re one of the unlucky ones, then you might lose everything you’ve worked hard for. What these thieves do is that they will use your information and use your account to buy or get whatever they want using your using your money. But don’t fret; there are ways that you can do to prevent this from happening.

Who to Contact When You Need to File an Identity Theft Report

A case of identity theft can leave you feeling violated and confused about what to do. The first place to start is to file an identity theft report with the appropriate agencies and financial institutions. From there you can get a handle on the situation and begin repairing any damage that has been done.

The Federal Trade Commission and the Three Major Credit Bureaus

Your first phone call should be to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It is a federal agency that is responsible for receiving and processing complaints of identity theft. It has trained counselors that can guide you through all the necessary steps to take once you’ve been a victim of identity theft, which is helpful when you feel overwhelmed. Once you’ve spoken to the FTC, your next point of contact should be the three major credit bureaus. You will have the option of placing a fraud alert, or if the severity of the theft was significant, a fraud freeze. An alert will only notify lenders that you have reported fraud, but it does not prevent lenders from running your credit. A freeze will lock down your credit, and lenders will not be able to access it, not even lenders you already deal with.

Local Police and Other Appropriate Law Enforcement Agencies

After speaking with the FTC about your case, they will advise you on which law enforcement agencies you should contact. In some cases, you could help an investigation already in place elsewhere. However, you should always file a police report with either the local police or the police where the identity theft occurred. Fill out a police report detailing exactly what happened, and include as much information as you have regarding the theft. Once you have completed the report, ask for a copy. This will come in handy later as you’re dealing with your financial institutions and other lenders.

Your Bank, Credit Card Company, and Other Lenders

Finally, you should contact all of your current lenders or financial institutions that you do business with and inform them of the fraudulent activity. This is especially important if you place a credit freeze on your credit file as lenders routinely access your credit file to ensure that you are still credit worthy. If they are unable to access your credit report without any explanation as to why, they could cancel your credit which will negatively impact your score. In most cases, they’ll attempt to contact you but it’s better to be proactive and contact them first. When you contact your lenders, ask to speak to someone in the fraud department. They may want a copy of your police report, especially if the fraud resulted in fees on your accounts and you are disputing them. Your report could also notify them to a specific scam that is affecting other clients. Filing an identity theft report can seem cumbersome since there are many different agencies to contact, but the alternative is to let your credit suffer and someone else to get away with the theft. By starting with the FTC, you can get a checklist of all the things you need to do to protect yourself and your credit. Following the list will help you organize the process, and ensure that everyone is appropriately notified. For more information on identity theft reports and how to prevent identity theft, visit us at http://www.identityguard.com.

The Importance of Fraud Alerts When You Report Credit Fraud

Unauthorized charges on your credit card signal to you that you need to report credit fraud. Fraud alerts are an important step in the process when you report credit fraud so that new accounts cannot be opened using your identity. Fraud alerts require the creditors to contact your directly for your approval before any new lines of credit are issued in your name. They won’t cost you and they are fairly simple to do.

Notifying Credit Reporting Companies that You Need a Fraud Alert

Start out by notifying the main credit reporting companies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) that you need a fraud alert. You can do this by going to their homepage and clicking on the link for fraud alerts.If you’d rather notify the credit reporting company over the phone, that is also an option. They have special departments for these cases where customer service representatives can guide you through the process.Your name, address, social security number will be required for online forms and also need to be given if you call. You won’t need to file for all three agencies. When you submit to one, the other two are also included.

Initial Fraud Alert vs. Extended Fraud Alert

The initial fraud alert, which you file when you suspect you are at risk, lasts for 90 days. These companies will require proof of your identity and a copy of an identity theft report from the police. An extended fraud alert is required once you have already proven identity theft, and it goes on for seven years. They also require a copy of your identity theft report. Both types of fraud alerts entitle you to free credit reports from the credit reporting companies to help you stay on top of your case.

Credit Monitoring Services Are a Valuable Asset

If you are not already enrolled in ID theft protection services, you should consider it. They offer a wide range of plans and services including business and personal credit protection. Their services are often affordable and could prevent you from losing a lot of money. It’s worth the investment to protect your future. In the event that you do suffer from an ID theft, they will be often do a lot of the recovery work on your behalf or support and advise you in getting through the process. It is useful to approach your search for a credit monitoring service in a systematic fashion. You will see when you start looking at different websites that there are many details to consider. Comparing and contrasting their prices and what they have to offer before making a decision can be helpful. It may help to take notes. For one of the broadest range of services available at the lowest cost, visit http://www.identityguard.com/report-credit-

Identity Theft Services and Bank Fraud

In today’s day and age, a thief can do much more than hold you up at gunpoint in an attempt to take your money, which is why identity theft services are as important as they are. Your identity is vulnerable in any number of different situations, but you have the power to protect it and make sure you aren’t left with no options. Trying to recover from identity theft can be time-consuming and frustrating. A thief can go through and pilfer your banking information and have your checking and savings account emptied before you ever have a clue something went wrong.

Bank Fraud: How Does it Occur?

When you think about it, a crook is going to gain access to a world of information by heading straight to your financial institution. Once they have stolen your contact information and login, they can hack your bank account, change all of your information and wipe your accounts clean in a matter of just a few minutes. It doesn’t take much to destroy everything you have worked so hard to build up.

Bank Fraud Effects

If the identity thief is able to maintain control of your bank account, the effects could be detrimental to your financial portfolio. Not only can they go through and wipe out your finances, but they can take your information and use it to open additional bank accounts and commit banking crimes using your information. Once they know all they need to know about you, they can send money overseas, which makes it near impossible to track. Most of the time, banks are only willing to reimburse you for up to a certain dollar amount. Beyond losing out on valuable money, you could spend months trying to get all of your accounts back under control. No one wants to spend their free time just trying to get everything straightened out.

Impact of Bank Fraud

When looking at all of the complaints filed for identity theft, roughly 9 percent of those victims were from that of bank fraud. The crime continues to rise as more and more thieves understand just how beneficial it can be to take control of another person’s assets. Once an account is taken over by an identity thief, it winds up costing an average of $3,692 for Americans. What would you do with the extra money? Don’t allow yourself to become the next victim. Take the steps now to protect your identity with identity theft services from a team of professionals who cares about you. Contact one of the friendly representatives at Identity Guard today to discuss what we can do for you.