Last year alone, 15 million consumers were victims of identity theft, amounting to $24 billion in losses. Identity theft is a massive issue in the United States, and it is not showing any signs of stopping. Anyone can become a victim of identity theft, mainly due to the amount of shopping and information stored online. Continue reading to learn more about the different forms of identity theft and what to do if your identity has been stolen.
Here are the five most common types of identity theft:
- Financial Identity Theft: This identity theft occurs when a criminal steals your financial information, such as a credit card or bank account number. The stolen data is then used to make purchases.
- Medical Identity Theft: This identity theft often targets Baby Boomers or those older than 65 due to the government health care benefits they receive. An example would be a criminal stealing personal information and attempting to pick up a prescription.
- Fake Identity Theft: This is exactly how it sounds. A phony identity is created using someone’s birthday or social security number to apply for any loan.
- Criminal Identity Theft: This occurs when someone uses your name when they have been arrested. You may receive a court summons for an act you know nothing about.
- Child Identity Theft: A minor’s personal information is used to apply for loans, commit bank fraud, and apply for credit cards.
Criminals and scammers use many tactics and tricks to get your personal information, often creating what appear to be viable websites, emails and placing phone calls. While being vigilant about protecting your personal information on the internet is essential, unfortunately, it still occurs.
What to do if Your Identity Has Been Stolen
Here are ten steps to minimize the damage if you’re a victim of identity theft.
- File a claim with your identity theft insurance.
- Notify companies of your stolen identity.
- File a report with the Federal Trade Commission.
- Contact your local police department.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit reports.
- Freeze your credit.
- Sign up for a credit monitoring service.
- Tighten security on your accounts.
- Review your credit reports for mystery accounts.
- Scan credit card and bank statements for unauthorized charges.
If you have been the victim of identity theft and need an experienced attorney, contact the Law Offices of Reginald Keith Davis. We will work to help you put your financial life back together and hold identity thieves accountable.