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Identity Theft


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Identity Theft


Identity theft affected 60 million Americans last year according to an article from LifeLock, with the 2 biggest thefts being employment/tax theft (using someone’s social security number/info to gain employment or file a false income tax return) and credit card fraud. Today we shared an article from Bankrate on steps to take when you discover you are a victim of identity theft (here are a few tips from the article):

– Notify Creditors & Financial Institutions. Most credit cards have a zero-liability policy when it comes to identity fraud and the Fair Credit Billing Act allows for a maximum liability for unauthorized charges of $50. BUT you need to contact your bank/financial institution within 2 days of the discovery of the theft to qualify for the $50 liability limit, after that it jumps to $500 for up to 60 days after the statement reflecting the fraud is mailed, and after 60 days – you’re on your own.

– Put a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report. Contact one of the 3 credit reporting agencies (Experian, Transunion, or Equifax) and file a fraud alert. This will last 90 days and alert you if someone is applying for credit in your name. Filing a report with the FTC or a policy report can extend that fraud alert to 7 years.

– Get a Copy of Your Credit Report. Once you have filed a fraud alert on your credit report, you will be opted-out on pre-approved credit cards & insurance offers. You will also receive a free copy of your credit report so you can go through and verify if any other fraud has occurred. You should be getting a free copy of your credit report from the government once a year to verify your information.

– Consider a Freeze on Your Credit. Freezing your credit will lock down your credit report from being released to new creditors. The costs can vary from state to state, or could be free if you are a victim of ID theft.

– Contact the FTC. Though the FTC mostly deals with large-scale identity thefts, they do monitor all levels of identity theft to find patterns and break up theft rings. More importantly, you need to file an identity theft affidavit with them. Having a copy of this affidavit along with a police report will help with disputing fraudulent accounts


There are a few more tips on what to do if you’re a victim of identity theft, go to the full article at Bankrate to read more.



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