4 Fast Ways to Avoid Your Identity from Being Stolen and Prevent Ruining Your Credit and Your Life

The Bright Side Corner


Identity theft occurs more frequently than you would like to believe and is committed mostly by a total stranger or even by someone you know.

Today, I’ll share with you the 4 fast ways to avoid your identity from being stolen and prevent ruining your credit and your life.

A thief needs only one thing to open the doors to his windfall, your Social Security number!

Unfortunately and often, our social security number is publicly available and it is routinely used by government agencies, health care providers, utility companies, merchants, employers, and financial institutions.

What are your chances of becoming a victim of some form of identity theft?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, it’s one in ten.

Telltale Sign You’re A Victim Of Identity Theft

A call from a collection agency or a turndown for a loan is often the common tip-off that your identity was stolen!

So what do you have to do first?

My recommendation is that first you educate yourself with information and resources at your disposal.

Next, purchase identity theft insurance.

To stop identity thieves in their tracks, there are several things you must do right away. You can begin by:

1. Freezing access to your credit file

By doing so, you cause your file to become off-limits to anyone who does not know the secret Personal Information Number (PIN) of your choosing.

This sets the wheels in motion to protect you from the bad guys, anyone who attempts to apply for credit in your name.

It causes their application to be rejected; although your credit cards won’t be affected.

And if you want to apply for new credit or let a bank, store, or agency run a background check on you, you can get a credit thaw.

2. Periodically check your credit report for suspicious activities

Americans are now entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

3. If you elect to shop online, use a credit card rather than a debit card

With a credit card, you have the extra protection of maximum liability of $50.00 for unauthorized purchased.

4. Learn about the email “phishing” scams and other schemes used by ID thieves

Avoid being taken advantaged of by identity thieves and con artists by reading articles like this to separate yourself from being a victim of identity thieves and their scams.

In the event you become a victim of identity theft, here are some steps you can take:

  • Act fast and prepare yourself for an uphill battle with some uncooperative and unsupportive credit card and law enforcement agencies

For guidance and support, I suggest you turn to organizations and agencies like Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

  • Call the fraud department of the three credit bureaus

Call Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, and request that a fraud alert be placed on your credit reports.

The alert lasts for 90 days and requires creditors to call you before opening new accounts in your name.

However, merchants who are eager to make a sale may choose to ignore this fraud or credit alerts.

  • Close your credit card accounts or change your credit card passwords

Close your credit card accounts or change the credit card passwords on all your financial and banking accounts.

  • File a police report

Although credit bureaus won’t extend a fraud alert without it, be aware that local police departments may be reluctant to provide a report.

Many may lack the resources to properly investigate the crime.

Mail copies of the police report to all three credit bureaus with a cover letter demanding your complete credit file.

  • Call every credit where you know a bogus account has been created and have them close your file immediately

Demand copies of all fraudulent applications for credit and billing statements.

Creditors don’t want to divulge that information, but they will if you enclose a copy of a police report and forward your request it in writing via certified mail.

What happens to victims of identity thefts?

In serious cases, victims spend a large sum of money to repair their credit.

Until they can prove their innocence, identity theft victims are more likely to be:

  • Charged higher rates for insurance and fees for credit cards

  • Rejected for student loans or home mortgages

  • Arrested for crimes they did not commit

  • Unable to get or keep a job

Here's the bottom line: Let’s face it, identity theft is a growing problem affecting everyone in some way or another.

An identity thief doesn’t just steal your credit card and personal information to buy crazily in your name. 

Identity thieves get new cards, opens new loans, and leaves a long trail of unpaid bills in your name. 

Identity thieves even use your identity to commit acts of terrorism or other crimes.

With the increase in popularity of internet usage, it has become easier for cybercriminals to steal our identity!

Read right here for additional resource of understanding identity theft and how you can prevent it.

Thank you for reading the 4 fast ways to avoid your identity from being stolen and prevent ruining your credit and your life.

If you enjoyed what you read, please share this post to your family and friends. I hope this helps.

You might also like my other posts to share them on social media and also follow me here on News Break.

Take care of yourself and each other. Until next time. Stay away from identity thieves!

Photo credit: Andri / pexels.com

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