What should I do if my identity is stolen?
Finding out that you are a victim of identity theft is very unnerving. You start having millions of questions, the first of which is likely, “What should I do now?”
If you have Identity Theft Protection, the first step is to file a claim with that company. If you don’t have identity theft protection, it might be worth calling a company to see if they can help you if you sign up now.
Dave Ramsey recommends Zander Insurance for identity theft insurance, which I use personally. If you are a victim of identity theft and file a claim with them, they assign a case worker to help you with the next steps. I will walk through the steps I took personally during a run-in with possible identity theft.
Nine Things to Do if Your Identity is Stolen
If you don’t already have a credit freeze on all 3 of the credit bureaus, it would be recommended to call and/or go online to add a credit freeze to each of them separately. If you have a freeze on your credit, this should eliminate the ability for someone to take out loans, credit cards, etc., in your name.
As an added layer of security on your credit – you can add a fraud alert on all three credit bureaus. This means they will call the phone number on file in the alert to confirm identity instead of the phone number on the submitted application.
Put a freeze on ChexSystems
ChexSystems is the system that most banks use when opening an account, so this layer of security should help protect you from having bank accounts opened in your name.
Add extra security to your bank accounts
Call your bank where your checking and savings are, let them know what happened, and see how you can add an extra password or voice ID to access your accounts.
Add extra security to your investment accounts
This is similar to your bank but for your investments. Call the Custodian that holds your 401(k) and/or IRAs and add an additional password or voice ID to access your accounts.
Change ALL of your passwords
Especially for your online banking, the portal you use to view your 401(k) and/or IRAs, and your email.
Run your credit report
You need to ensure there is nothing on there that shouldn’t be. If so – be sure to contact the company and dispute it.
Look at your online banking or bank statements
You want to make sure there are no unusual transactions.
Notify your Financial Advisor and CPA
Knowing that you have had this happen would be important for anyone who helps you with your finances and financial planning.
Knowledge is power
As I mentioned, having a run-in with identity theft can be very scary, but it is helpful to know what actions you need to take to minimize the impact.
The benefit of identity theft insurance is not only the monitoring they do to alert you if there is an unusual activity quickly. Having a case worker walk you through the above mentioned steps (and more if needed for your specific situation) is extremely valuable.
NINE THINGS TO DO IF YOUR IDENTITY IS STOLEN
April 26, 2023
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