Each year, millions of Americans fall victim to identity theft crimes, fraud and scams. Such crimes are extremely upsetting and can possibly cause significant damage. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help reduce your chances of becoming a victim of this crime, including reporting the crime immediately. If you take action as soon as possible and keep track of your credit history, you may prevent a serious problem in the future.
Reporting Fraud Immediately and Fraud Alerts
Remember that the longer you wait to report credit card or identity fraud, the more likely it is that serious damage will be done. Remember that there are many kinds of fraud, but each one should be handled in the most appropriate way. If you think you are a victim of a crime, start by contacting your local law enforcement office. This office can help you contact the appropriate individuals. Let your credit agency know about the crime as soon as possible.
Fraud alerts are essential for protecting your identity. Many times, fraud alerts begin almost immediately and are quick and easy to set up. As a consumer, you are permitted to place a fraud alert on your account if you notice any alarming or unusual activity. Whether a crime has already occurred or you are afraid of becoming a victim, you can begin by placing a 90 day fraud alert on your account. This amount can be increased depending on the circumstances. If you are unsure of how to put a fraud alert on your account, a qualified professional can help.
Monitoring Accounts for Identity Theft
Watching for unusual activity is one of the best ways to prevent identity theft. A lot of damage can be done very quickly if your information falls into the wrong hands, but there are ways to prevent this.
You should order a credit report at least once a year for added protection. A credit report has vital information, such as bank and financial accounts that have been opened in your name. It will also let you know if someone has opened up another account or line of credit or used your name for fraudulent purposes. Even if a crime has not occurred, simply being aware of your credit standing and financial history can be an easy way to catch a criminal in the act early on. You can obtain a report from any one of the three main credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You can choose to get reports from all three agencies once a year, or to get one statement from each agency throughout the year.
Reviewing Your Credit Report
A credit report contains detailed information about your financial history. By routinely monitoring your credit report and review your credit report, you will be able to catch fraudulent activity as soon as possible. Your credit report includes your financial history, such as loans, mortgages, and credit scores. When this information gets into the wrong hands, a lot of damage can occur.
If you believe that you have become a victim of fraud, the first thing you should do is report the crime immediately. Any delay in reporting the crime means that you may be putting yourself at serious risk for financial and personal consequences. It just takes a few steps to keep yourself protected. Monitoring your credit report during the year will provide a better understanding of your accounts and financial information. You can also catch someone who has set up an account in your name or who is attempting to do so. Credit monitoring is essential for many different reasons.