If you’ve discovered your identity has been stolen, there are steps you should take immediately to minimize the damage and protect your identity, finances, and credit score. You may want to start by calling your bank and other financial institutions to let them know what’s happening.
At FineMark, we will put an alert on your accounts so no money will leave the bank without your permission. If you suspect fraudulent purchases were made on a credit card, call the fraud department of that company as soon as possible so they can cancel your cards. Check out this link on how to setup Mobile Alerts for your Bank Account here.
Update Your Information
And while the criminals may have your credit or debit card number, they may not have access to your personal information, so it’s important to change all your online passwords and PINS. And remember, you should avoid using the same password for different accounts. In addition to changing your passwords, it’s a good idea to sign up for two-factor authentication wherever possible. This is an added layer of security for your account logins.
Pull a Credit Report
Next, consider having alerts added to your credit reports. You can call any one of the three reporting companies on your screen and ask for a fraud alert to be added. You only have to call one company for the alert. It is then their responsibility to contact the other two and share the information:
After the alerts are in place, it’s a good idea to order a credit report from each company, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Read your reports carefully and if you see signs of fraud, let the credit reporting company know immediately. You can also ask each of the reporting companies to freeze your credit. This will prevent any new credit accounts from being opened in your name.
The next step is to file a report with your local police department and ask for a copy for your personal records. They may not be able to catch the bad guys, but a report creates a paper trail that could be useful in the future.
And finally, when your identity has been compromised, it is essential to be vigilant and pay extra attention to all your account activity – this includes your bank accounts and any other financial accounts. Read your credit card statements and watch for suspicious transactions.
If you’d like more information on steps to take if you are a victim of identity theft, visit this government website IdentityTheft.gov. You will find additional information to help you assess the situation and guide you through the process. And of course, you can reach out to your relationship manager at FineMark. We are here and available to help.