Life can seem pretty predictable until one day your checks bounce, your credit cards are declined, or you're turned down for a loan. You're left wondering what happened. It only takes a second for a thief to grab your wallet or an internet "phisher" to snatch your credit card number online, but it will wreak havoc on your life for a long time to come. Make sure you know how to protect yourself before it happens and the steps to take if it happens to you.
Guarding Against Identity Theft
- Know what you can do to minimize your identity theft risk.
- You might not even think of the many ways a thief uses your personal information.
- Outsmart thieves by knowing how they steal your personal information.
- Credit monitoring services: Are they worth it?
- Fraud alerts, reports, and credit freezes can protect you from identity theft.
- Don't check your e-mail until you read about e-mail scams.
Recovering from Identity Theft
- File a police report to protect yourself and clear your financial standing.
- Understand how to create a fraud report and freeze your credit.
- How to replace a Social Security card or obtain a new number.
- Know when and how to close credit card and bank accounts.
- Laws that protect your rights as a consumer.