What happens if my identity has been stolen?
The first thing you should do if you think your identity has been stolen is to contact your bank. Most banks have identity theft and fraud departments that will be able to walk you through the next steps. First of all, you should lock down your credit cards, freezing them from making any purchases.
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If you don’t plan on applying for credit, call Experion and Equifax, then Transunion and have them lock your accounts. You can also visit for free Annual Credit Report .com
Most identity thieves know they only have a short window before you catch on to their actions. By taking immediate steps, you can prevent any real damages being caused to your savings and your credit scores. If you stop them before they can get started, they will move on to the next identity because you aren’t worth the trouble. Or at least this is often the case.
What precautions can I take?
The best way to avoid having your identity stolen is to prevent using suspicious sites. Stick to the big names, and you improve your odds. There are additional safety measures you can take for your bank account too. Creating two-factor authentification can be one of the best protections. Blocking your cards from use abroad unless you activate them to travel can help tremendously. Most of all, when picking security questions, you most likely get a pretty standard set of questions: What was your first pet? What’s your mother’s maiden name? Where did you go to school? These are all TERRIBLE choices for security questions. They can all easily be researched, that information is probably plastered all over your Facebook page. Pick a difficult issue, even if you’re worried you’ll forget its safer to pick a less secure to guess the answer.