If you have unfortunately been a victim of identity theft, you need to come up with a plan for identity theft solutions so that this or something like this doesn’t happen ever again to you or someone close to you.
A Handy Checklist
1. Make a list of all the companies you need to call and do it quickly. Your list will include credit card companies, bank accounts, other loans, mortgage payments and the like. After your call to freeze cards and issue stop payments on checks you did not write, send the companies a letter in writing and keep copies.
Follow up with another call to see if any solution to your identity theft has been figured out. Keep a track of whom you have called and if there is anything you need to get back to them with.
2. File a police report and contact the credit reporting agencies. If you are traveling, ask your credit card company to overnight you a new card.
3. Always check your credit card statement before you pay it and never assume it is correct. A charge at a gas station for $40 is okay, but a charge at a gas station in India is not especially if you’ve never laid foot in Asia! Call your credit card company; you pay them hefty fees for someone to answer your call 24/7. There might not be a need for an identity theft solution if it was a simple mistake. A part of the statement could get cut off and it could actually be a $40 gas bill for the trip you took to Indiana last month!
4. Review your credit report at least once a year, and more if possible. Check if any new accounts have been opened that you have not authorized. Check if the dollar amounts on the credit balances you have are correct. A measly zero can make or break your credit when you go to buy a new car or find a home.
5. An important identity theft solution is to avoid having your driver’s license number or social security number printed on your checks. If you do pay by check, the cashier can check your ID and write the number in front of you.
6. Know and review with other family members whom to call if you find your wallet has been stolen.
7. Update your computer virus protection, anti-spam software and install firewalls so some college nerds do not try to hack in to your system just for the fun of it.
8. A relatively newer identity theft solution is gaining popularity. When shopping online, use a unique virtual credit card number provided by your card company for the exact amount of your purchase. That is a secure way of seeing to it that no one can use your card over and above the amount you enter for that transaction.