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Important Steps to Repair Identity Theft

By Ruth Racey
Published: Saturday, December 28th, 2013

When someone steals your personal information and misuses the same for fraudulent activities, without your permission, it is referred to as identity theft. It is indeed a serious crime that can cause havoc to your credit history, finances, and reputation. Unfortunately, it takes significant money, time, and patience to repair the impacts of identity theft. Discussed here are certain important steps to repair identity theft.

Take Immediate Action

One of the best ways to repair identity theft is to take effective action immediately. On taking relevant actions quickly, you can prevent an identity thief to do more damage to your reputation, credit report or finances. As immediate actions, follow these three important steps as soon as possible:

  • Place Initial Fraud Alert – Three major credit reporting bureaus – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax – keep records of credit history. If your personal or financial information has been misused, call one of the bureaus immediately and ask to place initial fraud alert on the credit report. This makes it difficult for identity thief to open further accounts in your name. When there is an alert on your report, a creditor is responsible to verify your identity before issuing credit, and therefore, it may contact you. You can renew the alert after 90 days.
  • Get your free credit reports – As a victim of identity theft, you are eligible to get free copies of your credit report from all the three bureaus. Ask the bureau to present only the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number on the report. If you are aware which accounts have been tampered, contact the related creditors immediately. Review the credit reports for unauthorized accounts and charges; dispute the errors.
  • Create an identity theft report – Creating an identity theft report helps in getting certain rights that can recover you from the theft. It can help in dealing with debt collectors, credit reporting companies, and creditors that opened new accounts in your name or granted credit to the identity thief. With the threat report, you can get fraudulent and erroneous information removed from the credit report, get information about accounts that are misused or newly opened by the thief, and to have extended fraud alert on the report. To create an identity theft report, submit documents about the same to the FTC and print a copy of the report, known as Identity Theft Affidavit. File a police report and get a copy of the report as well. Both of these together make an identity theft report.

Monitor your Progress

Repairing identity theft requires letters and phone calls. Create an organized system for your papers and phone calls to track deadlines and monitor the progress.

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