Identity theft is a serious issue — one that affects millions of Americans each year. In fact, statistics suggest that one out of every 16 American adults were victims of identity theft in one year.
Identity theft, which is essentially another term for fraud, can have serious consequences for you, financially and socially. You could even find yourself facing criminal repercussions because somebody else used your name during an interaction with the police.
Repairing your credit is critical after identity theft. You might wonder what's next for you. The truth is, you have more power than you might think.
What Identity Thieves Do
Identity theft happens in many different ways. Identity thieves obtain fraudulent credit cards, identification, and even loans with your information. They may use your Social Security information for criminal purposes as well.
An unscrupulous individual could have purchased your information, or the perpetrator could have phished your information by pretending to be somebody else. They could have found your information in the garbage can or used a skimmer to obtain your debit card information.
How to Deal With Identity Thieves
First, you need to gather evidence that somebody did steal your identity, ultimately impacting your credit score. Gather receipts, credit card statements, and anything else that could be evidence. Next, you can get in touch with creditors, credit bureaus, and debt collectors to explain the issue. You may want to have a credit repair company on the case to help you explain what is happening.
Depending on the damage, you might consider filing a lawsuit to receive some of your damages back. You may have the right under federal and state laws to receive restitution for your financial losses and your efforts to fix them. You may be able to recover damages not only from the perpetrator but also from any entities that allowed this to happen. While most organizations and businesses strive to keep your information private, not everybody works hard to do this.
You should also file a police report, get in touch with the Federal Trade Commission, and create fraud alerts on your accounts. These steps protect you and your financial future.
How You Can Repair Your Credit
Repairing your credit begins with working alongside a fast credit repair company that understands what you are dealing with after identity theft. It is never easy to contend with the damage identity theft causes, but professionals who have seen it all before understand the next best steps to take.