Posted by Fred Lake

4 things you need to know about Identity fraud

4 things you need to know about Identity fraud

Protection from identity fraud is quite essential as personal details such as your email address, name, mobile number, social security number, passwordsand other information are the target of such action. This information is interlinked as it will appear on almost all records one will have of which the financial account is the most targeted by fraudsters. The rate at which technological advancement is easily accessible in the world should make a sound mind think and forestall impending fraudsters.

 Some have fallen victim by handing out personal information by either clicking a link sent in an email, text or even giving them out on phone calls to financial institution imposters. Perpetrators of this ensure they quickly make use of all the information gathered. It is therefore essential that one is careful about handing out personal information to unverified personnel no matter the alleged urgency. The following are some ways to control and also reduce the chances of having your identity stolen 

Alert your banker

At other times, there could be an information leak either due to incompetent security of one’s financial institution or hacking from an external source. For this, people whose identity has been stolen learn about it by unauthorized transactions on their financial account. The moment one suspects a fraud, the first point of call should be to alert his accountant or banker and ask that the account be locked or closed. After this is done, one may want to go through all his financial accounts by requesting for statement of transactions. By this one will be able to ascertain and fish out all unknown charges and transactions carried out on the accounts. 

Report to the local police 

At times, fraudsters may use the details stolen to open new accounts to carry out other illegal businesses. It is best that one files a report with the local police department as this will come handy if there really was something like that. 

Secure your accounts

Also, to evade future occurrences, victims may be advised by their accountant to close all current account and then reopen other accounts. Obviously, this could be a long and tiring exercise which will worth the sweat at the end as it will reduce the probability of an automatic future control of one’s money. Also check out what other measures the financial institution has to help secure your account. The use of token pins before carrying out transaction is one effective security procedure attached when logging in for online users.

Be vigilant when online

Once your personal details are out, it is essential to be watchful. This is because beyond a one-time theft case it could be an ongoing issue. One can deal with it by constantly changing passwords to accounts run online. Ensure it is alphanumeric as this characterizes strong passwords and if possible do not repeat passwords for different accounts. One other place detail is taken are on social media accounts, learn to be discreet about your details on the media accounts as it could be a link to get personal information. 

The single biggest form of identity fraud complaints to the Federal Trade Commission in 2014 was Tax identity Fraud according to a recent survey conducted for Symantec.

This malady could affect your ability to get a job, obtain credit, or obtain Medicare. 

Inland Revenue Service and Federal Trade Commission RECOMMEND these steps if you are affected.

1. Call IRS Identity Protection Unit at 1-800-908-4490 immediately to report the fraud. 

2. Log on to https://www.ftcomplaintassistant.gov and file a complaint.

3. Obtain a police report at your local police department.

4. Request that a fraud alert be placed by 3 main credit reporting organizations.

Equifax.com- (1800-525-6285)

Experian.com- (1-888-397-3742)

TransUnion.com- (1-800-680-7289)

5. File your tax while you resolve with state and federal tax authorities. This is very important even if you will need to do so on paper.

6. Identity Fraud may be a precursor to other series of theft. Thus, Request security freeze on your credit reports of the 3 main credit reporting bodies. This will hinder the thief from using your identity to open new credit lines in your name.

Fred Lake
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