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Indentity Theft | Identity Theft Protection | Identity Theft Prevention > Identity Theft Prevention > You’re already a victim: how do you save the situation and yourself?

You’re already a victim: how do you save the situation and yourself?

By Amanda Randell
Published: Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Unfortunately, everyone and anyone are potential victims of identity theft. Sometimes even, no matter how much we try, we can always fall for the frauds who do want nothing but our disadvantage. So what must you do, if you have already been victimized? Could there be any chance to salvage the situation? Is it still possible to protect oneself?

To answer those questions, one must first assess the situation. Ask yourself these questions: how serious is the problem? How sensitive is the information stolen from you? How long was it since the crime occurred?

It is always better to think quickly and act as fast as possible after the occurrence of the crime. That way, you will be given a bigger chance of solving the problem and heightening the possibility of getting your information back and preventing any misuse of it. The kind of action you then take next depends on the type of information robbed from you.

If what was stolen from you are government-issued identification cards, quickly call the agency and have your accounts or documents cancelled. You can then ask for a replacement document. Although it may seem like more paperwork, this will prevent the thief from being able to use your name. This also allows the agency to track down the thief.

When you detect signs of your credit information being misused, such as when debts you know you shouldn’t have start appearing, then your credit information has most likely been stolen. What you must do is to immediately inform your credit company by placing a fraud alert on your credit reports. The company will thus be informed that any purchase done using your credit account is not performed by you. Take note that you may have to undergo procedures to prove that you are the actual owner of the stolen information. Such procedures vary depending on the company.

If your ATM gets stolen, it is imperative that you report this immediately to the corresponding bank. You will be asked to pay a certain fee when this happens, and how fast you report this is often a factor in how much or how little you will need to pay. If, on the other hand, you discover that a withdrawal was done without your prior knowledge or permission, even without the loss of your ATM card, chances are your pin was what was taken. If this happens, you must inform the bank of this through a legal letter.

If your name is stolen i.e. crimes and / or violations are committed using your name or photo, you should contact the police department responsible for arresting the identity thief and file an impersonation report. This is very messy, indeed, and you must prove your innocence by providing your own genuine information and comparing it to the fraud. This may be done by taking photos, medical information, fingerprints, vital statistics, etc., and comparing it to the criminal.

Needless to say, identity theft is a big inconvenience and may cost the victim not just money, but reputation as well. Anyone could be a victim. However, at the end of the day, quick action and thinking may be all that’s needed to save ourselves.

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