How To Fix Identity-Theft Issues Posed By The Equifax Hack Identity Theft – Ways to Overcome the Devastation

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Identity Theft – Ways to Overcome the Devastation

This time of year many people are doing their taxes, and some will be in for a shock. Their identity has been stolen, and someone else already has filed for a refund under their name! What do you about identity fraud? Here are some tips to help overcome this devastating problem.

Perhaps you have heard that identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America right now, if not you should pay attention. Each year millions of people are waking up to discover that someone has either cleaned out their bank accounts, racked up vast charges on their credit cards, or stolen their identity to open up accounts for phones, credit cards, car loans, or any number of other fraudulent purposes including tax preparation.

It doesn’t seem possible, but in many cases illegal aliens have been found to buy stolen social security card numbers and then turn around using them to get a job. At the end of the year, they claim their refund and get it, unbeknownst to the real person that is assigned this social security number. So what do you do to stop this from happening? For one, keep track of your information at all times by checking credit card balances, checking and savings accounts, and by all means checking your credit score with the big three agencies. If you can, sign up for a service that tracks this information such as Lifelock, which can alert you of any suspicious activity in your name.

Besides taking steps to protect yourself, if you do suspect someone has stolen your identity you should immediately call the credit reporting agencies and report what you suspect. They should place a fraud alert on your record so no other accounts can be opened up in your name. Their information is below:

Equifax

P.O. Box 740241

Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

1-800-685-1111

Experian ( www.experian.com )

P.O. Box 2104

Allen, TX 75013-0949

1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)

Trans Union ( www.transunion.com )

P.O. Box 1000

Chester, PA 19022

1-800-916-8800

In addition to notifying these agencies, you should also notify the police in your area and the police in the town you believe the thief lives who stole your identity. If it’s in another state, make sure you call until you find the police station that can file a report in that area since you will need it to verify your claims in court if need be.

Just to be sure that your bank and credit card companies are aware immediately, call them about the fraud and then send them a letter as well. You don’t want to take any chances that someone will drop the ball and your case will not be handled properly. After that it’s just a matter of letting the credit reporting agencies handle the paperwork, but follow up to be sure they find all of the accounts that were opened in your name fraudulently.

In the case of your social security number being used fraudulently, make sure the Social Security Administration knows about this as well, so no one can further damage your records. Notify the post office in your town as well, to be sure that none of your mail is being sent to another address. It can take a long time to fix all of these things, but remember prevention is the best way to stop identity thieves. Take steps today to make sure you are safe both online and at home.

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