Preventing Identity Fraud by Modifying Account Recovery Measures
Avoid becoming one of the 9 million Americans who have their identities stolen annually by preventing identity fraud by any means necessary. Since 2005, the DOJ has received reports of 8,769 data breaches. In 2020, the number of hacks increased by 434 compared with 2019 and will continue to grow yearly. Each of those breaches would have exposed the identities of 1 1/3 of the 310 million US citizens if spread equally.
Steps To Prevent Identity Fraud
By implementing identity fraud protection measures, you can minimize the risk of losing your account to identity theft. Below are precautions you can take to keep your account safe.
Be Meticulous with Passwords
By using the same login information and passwords on multiple sites, hackers are more likely to succeed with their attacks. Therefore, you must use a password manager to create and store your passwords across several devices.
Use Multifactor Authentication
Adding biometrics, such as face recognition or fingerprints, to your accounts can also help prevent account takeovers. Multifactor authentication isn't available on all profiles but is essential for identity protection.
Safeguard your Credit
Credit bureaus may ask creditors to verify your identity before issuing credit in your name if you have placed a fraud alert or credit freeze with all three bureaus. If you have frozen your credit report and scores that information can no longer be available unless you thaw it deliberately.
Consider Identity Theft Protection
Credit monitoring services help you keep track of your identity, accounts, and credit file. These provide alerts when account details change, scan the dark web, and get help when your identity is compromised.
Warning Signs of Identity Theft
Although you may take all the necessary steps to prevent identity fraud, there are times when hackers get into your system regardless. Knowing the warning signs can help you prevent identity fraud.
A withdrawal or charge that is unexplained
Don't ignore small charges that seem strange in your financial account, and make sure you check it monthly. To test their scams, thieves often make small purchases first.
Asked to pay fees for the medical care you haven't received
Your health insurance carrier may deny a legitimate claim for numerous reasons. Such an event could indicate that someone is using your identity to obtain medical care or maximize your insurance claims.
You've been approved for new credit cards but didn't apply
If you receive an unexpected credit card, you should report it to the company issuing the card immediately. You should investigate any statements you receive for new accounts.
Inaccuracies in your credit report
Your credit reports can be reviewed once a year for free through a credit reporting agency of your choice. Check your credit reports for suspicious activity, such as accounts you didn't open.
Collection notices or calls for unknown debt
It is best to ask for proof of the debt and creditor within 30 days if you believe the debt is not genuine. Don't assume the information is incorrect. Find out why you are paying for the debt.
Bank declining credit card application
Obtain a copy of your credit report if you haven't reached your credit limit or have excellent credit. It may be a possibility that an identity thief has racked up debt on your behalf or ruined your credit score.
Not receiving emails
You may receive an email or mail notification from the post office that your mail has been forwarded to another address when you have not requested a change of address. In addition, a thief could be stealing your mail or may have changed the mailing or email address on the account to prevent fraudulent charges from appearing.
Social Security and tax return errors
You might receive a notice from the Internal Revenue Service that you filed multiple tax returns in your name or that you earned money from an unknown employer.
An Arrest Warrant
You get an arrest warrant but have no idea why. Although this may seem extreme, someone can impersonate you while committing a crime.
How to Report Identity Fraud
The FTC or the police requires that you provide accurate information when filing an identity theft report, or you might face criminal penalties. After reporting identity fraud, you'll receive a customized recovery plan with tools like credit card form letters. If you were the victim of a specific data breach, such as a credit card company stealing your personal information, you get advice from the FTC on protecting yourself.
Visit the FTC's Identity Theft Portal
The FTC's identity theft portal makes it easier for people to report what happened, obtain form letters to send to credit bureaus, and track their progress.
Report identity theft to the FTC
- It begins with choosing how the identity thief used your information by clicking on the appropriate option. Next, you'll fill out an identity theft affidavit, essentially a formal complaint to the FTC.
- During an investigation, other law enforcement agencies can access your information through the FTC's secured online database, which you can control how much information to provide.
- When you complete and print out the online identity theft affidavit, retain it as part of your records. Law enforcement, financial institutions, and credit card companies may request your FTC identity theft report.
Get a recovery plan
An FTC identity theft report is a great way to clear your name and prevent identity fraud. The FTC creates a personalized recovery plan for you using the information you provide in the online affidavit. For example, if your credit card was compromised, the first step is to report the fraud to your Credit Card Company or bank. A fraud alert is placed on your credit report after you notify the FTC about your identity theft, and a form letter is sent to you that contains the information you provided in your complaint.
You will receive tools from the FTC to help you clear your name. As you complete each step, a box shows where you are in the recovery process, such as filling out the date you mailed the dispute letter to the credit bureau.
Need Help With Protecting Your Identity?
To protect yourself against identity theft, Identity Guard offers top-rated credit monitoring. By safeguarding your information, this company can help you prevent problems from occurring in the future.
Identity Fraud and BlueCheck
BlueCheck's industry-leading identity verification infrastructure enables merchants to grow their business faster. Serving a wide variety of industries, our solutions are custom-tailored to the unique needs of our customers.
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Mendez, R. (n.d.). FTC. Retrieved from www.ftc.gov: https://www.ftc.gov/media/71474
Nelson, B. (2022, July 27). Reader's Digest. Retrieved from www.rd.com: https://www.rd.com/list/signs-someone-stole-your-identity/
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