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Empowering Victims of Identity Theft

By Karen Anderson
Published: Saturday, December 5th, 2009

Identity theft is truly a serious and alarming occurrence in our society. Thus, consumers are advised to observe several precautions that would protect them from identity theft. Unfortunately, no matter how much we shield ourselves, many of us have been victimized by this crime. However this does not mean that we are totally powerless. There are several credit report tips and guides we could do that would allow us to regain our financial status.

Once we have discovered that our credit report contains fraudulent information, we should immediately notify the fraud department of the three credit bureaus. We could then request that a fraud alert be placed on our credit report. This notifies our current creditors, lenders and employers as well.

Among the important credit report tips to consider is a security freeze. What happens is that we are given the option of freezing our credit report with the three credit bureaus. By freezing our credit reports, we prohibit anybody from accessing our files without our permission. This is an effective means of preventing thieves from opening up new credit and loan accounts.

If the thief in question has already opened new credit accounts in our name, then we should alert the concerned creditors immediately. We could alert them either by calling them up or submitting a statement. In the same way, if our existing credit accounts have already been used deceitfully, then we should alert the concerned credit card company.

In the instance that fraudulent bank accounts have been set up, we should ask our bank to report it to the ChexSystems. This is a consumer reporting agency that gathers reports on our checking accounts. Another good suggestion among the credit report tips is to place a security alert on our file.

In cases where creditors, credit bureaus or debt collectors do not fully cooperate in removing fraudulent entries in our credit report, we could opt for legal assistance. We could contact the National Association of Consumer Advocates. Accordingly, they are able to assist us by providing an attorney who specializes in consumer law.

One of the most essential credit report tips to bear in mind is familiarity with our credit rights. This entails having a good grasp of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Credit Billing Act. We can also report the crime to our local police or sheriff. By doing so, we alert others as well of fraudulent activity that is taking place within the locality. We should provide them with as much documented evidence as possible. That way, they are better able to track the thief.

The final advice and perhaps the most important of all credit report tips is to maintain our stand. We should in no way further victimize ourselves by paying bills that are a result of fraud. Also, we should not file for bankruptcy for this would have a great effect on our credit standing. We should remember that identity thieves could be apprehended though our wise and timely actions.

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