What Do I Do Next?: Identity Theft Recovery
If an individual has been the victim of identity theft they will realize the nightmare involved as a result of this criminal act. First of all this is a very personal crime. In fact, it doesn't get much more personal because the name, integrity and reputation of a person are violated.
In addition, because of the criminal financial acts that are done by the thief posing as their victim, the good financial standing and integrity of the innocent individual can suffer irreparable harm.
Therefore, it is important to know what to do if an individual is a victim of identity theft. This identity theft recovery can be accomplished through a number of steps. Those steps leading to identity theft recovery include notifying the authorities and writing the three credit bureaus.
Notifying The Authorities
If an individual senses or knows that they are a victim of identity theft, they must immediately contact the authorities. Those authorities include the financial institution in question. Those financial institutions could include credit card companies, revolving charge companies, banks, etc.
In addition, to begin the process of identity theft recovery, it is important to notify law enforcement. This is important because identity theft is a crime. Therefore, the local police department should be notified. This action will ensure that the proper documentation is filled out which will begin an important timeline in the identity theft recovery and help to reduce any possible liability. If the police are unfamiliar with the process it is critical that the individual notify the appropriate department at the FBI as soon as possible.
Writing The Three Credit Bureaus
One other important action to take immediately to begin the identity theft recovery process is to notify the three credit bureaus. These three bureaus are Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. In fact, if one credit bureau is notified the other two will be notified through electronic means by the one bureau.
Following this notification, the three bureaus will flag the victims account with a fraud alert warning. This flag will be accomplished within 24 hours of being notified that the potential of identity theft has been indicated.
In addition, the process involves the stoppage of all pre-approved credit card applications. This act is taken by the credit bureaus to prevent the opening of any unknown credit card accounts being opened fraudulently. Additionally, the monitoring of this process and oversight of the credit bureaus is a minimum two year process on behalf of the individual.