7 Steps you Should take after Identity Theft
Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime where fraudulent persons commit a crime of stealing personal data and information like driver’s license number, social security number, health insurance number, etc. They further use this information to break into private accounts, sometimes even the social media accounts, and gain monetary facilities without ever having to pay a dime for it.
It is illegal and very risky business, but there are some steps that should be taken if you ever find yourself in such a situation.
The Seven Steps to Save You after identity theft!
Imagine yourself in a similar situation. You are in the service area of a petrol pump, away from the comfort of your office. You have no access to helpful technology, and suddenly, out of nowhere, you receive a text from your bank account regarding a money transaction you just made! Baffled (and bluffed!), you could bring further harm to your hard-earned money by acting impulsively.
So before any such situation occurs, you should be mentally prepared about what security protocols are safe to follow. Here are the most important 7 rules that can save the day (and your savings too!) for you.
- Stay calm
- Reach nearest tech-providing place
- Contact fraud alert departments relevant to the theft type you are facing
- Block your credit card
- Notify the law-enforcement authorities
- Never repeat your passwords
Yeah! You read it right! Staying calm in a difficult situation is the first and foremost important step in reaching a safe and logical solution. So, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, remember to stay calm, get hold of your nerves, and take the next safety steps to make yourself secure. When you panic out in a problematic situation, the chances of getting to a solution fast become lesser.
Reach the Nearest Tech-Providing Place
Yes, if you are away from the tech or even from your smartphone, it is wise to get hold of it as early as possible. It is difficult to get hold of yourself when your mind has been threatened by an impending danger of something you earned hard, but you have to reach out to get proper help regarding the matter. Remember, you are the victim, and the good guy mostly gets all the help, unlike the criminal, who is a lonely player.
Contact Fraud Alert Department
For example, in case it is your credit card information that has been stolen from you, the next logical thing to do would be to contact the fraud alert department of your relevant bank. There are free helplines that are available for calls 24/7 and are very user-friendly. Just punch in some numbers on your smartphone and you are done! Yes, you get connected to the right people.
If you want to stay safe from identity theft, then report immediately. Once you are connected to the right people, make sure to be clear during reporting your problem to them. Usually, such a traumatic experience makes your voice shaky and unclear, jumbling words and uttering incoherent sentences. If any such thing happens, go back to step 1. Remind yourself that you have now reached the right people and you have control over the situation now. I cannot emphasize more how important staying calm is. Half of your solution is in controlling your mind.
Block Your Credit Card
Once you have notified the concerned bank about the text you received and about the fraud situation, block your credit card as soon as possible. Most of the bank helplines would help with this step during the same call. They ask for some information which only you are supposed to be aware of, like your first toy name or the maiden name of your mother, and once you answer and it is verified, they block your card as per your wish.
Notify the Law Enforcement Authorities
Once done with blocking your card, you now have the peace of mind that it would not be misused any further. The next important step is to notify the local law enforcement authorities about your theft. This puts into gear a process where they look out for similar crime patterns in your locality, and mostly, are aware of people who have a history in similar crimes. Your bad guy is caught!
Never Repeat Your Passwords
Now that you are safe, you get another credit card issued. Remember never to repeat a password that has been already hacked or broken into. It is safe as well as a precautionary measure. Also, notify your family members to change their passwords as a precautionary. Most of the identity thieves hack identities that are linked to each other via the same address or telephone number. For example, if I use my Spectrum phone service, it is most likely that they would look for similar service users listed to the same home address.
By being a little extra cautious you can stay safe and also help others to be aware of identity theft. That way the concerned authorities can also improve.