How to Report Identity Theft and Prevent It from Happening Again
You may have been a victim of identity theft, or you may be worried that someone has access to your personal information. Identity theft happens when someone uses another person's personal or financial information to commit fraud. In most cases, victims of identity theft remain in the dark until they are turned down for loan applications or when creditors come calling.
Filing a report to the FTC after an incident of identity theft is time consuming and complicated. However, using DoNotPay's new Identity Theft product, we'll walk you through each report you should file and the steps you should take to make sure your information stays protected.
DoNotPay will help you with different identity theft cases, such as:
- When someone has stolen your stimulus check
- When someone has filed with unemployment in your name
- Credit card fraud
- Social security identity theft
- Equifax identity theft
- Experian identity theft
Signs You May Be a Victim of Identity Theft
The following are five sure signs that you may be a victim of identity theft:
- Your bank statements look odd or your checks bounce. Even the slightest discrepancy in your bank account summary should serve as a red flag that someone may be trying to illegally access your information.
- You notice unusual activities on your credit card report. If you notice unusual activity on your credit card statement, you may be a victim of financial identity theft.
- You are unable to file taxes because someone has filed a tax return using your name. A good example is tax refund fraud. Criminals may use your SSN and date of birth to file taxes so that they can cash in your tax refund.
- You receive collection calls or notices for bills you did not owe. When this happens, most probably, an identity thief is purchasing things using your information and not paying the bills.
- You notice some missing emails. If you suddenly stop receiving monthly statements from your bank or credit card company, it could be possible that an identity thief has changed the mailing address, so be on the lookout.
What to Do if Your Identity is Stolen
If you are certain that you are a victim of identity theft, you should immediately take the following steps to protect yourself:
- Where applicable, file a claim with your identity claim insurance
- Alert all concerned companies
- File a report with the FTC
- Notify your local police department
- Raise a fraud alert on all your credit reports
Credit Card Fraud vs. Identity Theft
Credit card fraud is when a thief purchases items using your credit card or even withdraws cash from your account. Identity theft, on the flip side, is where a thief steals your personal information such as your social security number to apply for government benefits or open new accounts under your name.
How to Report Identity Theft on Your Own
You should report any cases of identity theft online to the FTC at IdentityTheft.gov. You can also call them at 1-877-438-4338. The FTC will follow up on your case, asking you to provide the required information.
How to Prevent Identity Theft
The surest way of preventing identity theft is by signing up for an identity theft protection service. Although this service does not prevent crime from happening, it immediately alerts you in the event of suspicious activity. There are also other ways to prevent identity theft as discussed below:
- Freeze your credit file. When you do this, it will be impossible for anyone to get access to or request your credit card report. This means that unauthorized persons will not use your personal information to apply for loans or open new accounts.
- Go through your credit card and bank statements regularly. Sometimes, identity thieves first make small transactions to see if they can get away with it. Such charges may even go unnoticed by your financial institution. It is, therefore, important for you to be very alert.
- Shred confidential documents before disposing of them. Believe it or not, even in this digital era, dumpster diving still takes place. While some individuals may be looking for valuables, others may be searching for your data.
- Have different passwords for your accounts. The FTC proposes having a long, complicated and unique password. Be creative with your passwords and avoid using information that relates to your identity.
- Use antivirus software. Installing antivirus software on your computer and mobile devices will protect you from being hacked and your personal information was stolen.
Next Steps for Reporting an Identity Theft if You Can’t Do It Yourself
Reporting an identity theft by yourself can be a lengthy and frustrating process. You will be required to do a lot of paperwork and follow-up, which will waste a lot of your time. This is why DoNotPay is here for you. DoNotPay makes the entire process super easy.
How to Report an Identity Theft with DoNotPay
If you want to report identity theft, but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has got you covered in three easy steps:
- Search "identity theft" on DoNotPay and select the type of incident you would like to report.
- Tell us more about the incident that occurred, including the location, date, time, financial loss, and any suspect information you may have.
- We'll identify whether you should file an FTC report, contact the IRS, freeze your credit report, contact state agencies, or file a police report. Once we guide you through the best options, we'll automatically submit the reports on your behalf!
And that's it! DoNotPay will make sure your issue gets sent to the right place. We'll upload confirmation documents to your task for you to view, and if the contacts need more information, they will reach out to you personally via email or mail.
Why Use DoNotPay to Report Identity Theft
DoNotPay is your best solution for reporting identity theft because DoNotPay is:
|It’s fast||You don't have to spend hours trying to solve the issue|
|It’s easy||You don't have to struggle to fill out tedious forms or keep track of all the steps involved in reporting an identity theft|
|It’s successful||You can rest assured knowing we'll make the best case for you|
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
Helping you report identity theft is just one of many things DoNotPay can help you with. DoNotPay has many more other services to offer such as:
- Getting compensation for victims of crime
- Contacting government representatives
- Getting chargebacks and refunds
- Filing insurance claims
- Suing anyone in a small claims court
DoNotPay can help you do so many things with no hassle. Click here for more information.