Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What To Do If Your Identity Is Stolen

by: Bernz Jayma P.

Stolen identity? What comes into mind when you hear that phrase? Stolen identity is when someone uses your name and personal information to benefit financially or materially.

When ones identity gets stolen it is important that they don’t remain silent on the matter. It is wise to report the matter to the concerned authorities as soon as possible. fhe First thing to do is to recognize which identity information has been stolen, your wallet containing credit cards or identification card. It is important to verify whether you still have the documents or you truly misplaced them and need to take immediate action.

The immediate next step after informing the authorities is to keep record of every development on the case. Record the time, money and conversations you have had with the authorities.Why? This is because in case the thief is caught up with the goods he will be able to be charged and asked to pay for the troubles the claimant went through. The next thing to do after your identity is stolen is to create an alert to the credit company. Create a statement with your bank that will issue an alert on fraud and then close the account if the account has been comprimised. Also visit the theft programs if you lost your identity through the internet.

What else can you do if your identity has been stolen? If there are new accounts that you have recently opened make sure to close them. Since they might be compromised too, change all the passwords in your emails and websites; it is a first step towards deterring the thief from causing more damage. If you lost your drivers license visit your department of motor vehicles to get a new number and card. It will be worth paying the drivers license fee all over again rather than breaking traffic rules, due to lack of a license.

Learn to check your credit status oftenly since forewarned is forearmed. Among the major things you need to do is report to the authorities first. They will always give you firsthand info regarding what to do. You can always get your identity back so there is no cause for serious alarm. Try and be consistent in finding where it is you lost your identity and to whom. Fraudsters are charged and punished by a court of law.