When someone steals your identity, it can cause long lasting consequences for both you and your family. Not only can identity theft ruin your bank accounts and wreck your credit, but it can make it nearly impossible to buy a house or an automobile. If you want to avoid a disastrous situation, then you need to make sure you address identity theft quickly and appropriately. Here are some steps you should take if you find out that someone is using your identity.
First, report the incident to the police. Take evidence such as bank statements or credit card statements and file a complaint with the local police department. You will be assigned a detective to show you how to take action and press charges against the offender if the person can be located.
Second, you should notify your banks and credit card companies as well as all three credit bureaus. You will need to stop payments and block use of all your stolen credit cards. Keep a close tab on new accounts that might be opened or new cards issued if someone is using your social security number falsely to acquire new cards.
Most of all, remember to regularly monitor your credit to avoid identity theft that might go without consequences. If you don’t know it’s happening until it’s too late, it can take a long time to repair the damage and recover your losses. However, if you notice it immediately, you can likely get ahead of the thief and stop it before it gets out of hand.