Identity theft is something that has fallen out of active discussion, even though it’s growing more and more with each passing day. Even though you might think that nobody would want to mess with your information because your credit isn’t the best, you would be surprised at how valuable your identity is. Identity theft often goes beyond credit — once someone can become you, they can do anything and get away with it because it’s not going to fall back on them — it’s going to fall back on you. There are stories of people not realizing that their identity had been stolen but a crime had been committed in their name. That’s pretty scary, if you ask us!
Identity theft is the enemy of good credit, because identity thieves will use your credit to get just about anything they want. If that means that they can open up lines of credit and buy things, they will surely do that. In addition, they might even get loans or try to finance cars in your home. Fraudulent home applications have even been known to occur, which is definitely problematic.
The good news is that you can dispute these things as soon as you find out, leaving the company’s fraud department to take care of the rest. In fact, the sooner you report fraud, the easier it is to make sure that you actually don’t get stuck with the charges. If you’re ready to have a completely different financial picture, it starts with actually fighting identity theft from corner to corner.
Now, keep in mind that you’re going to need to handle most of your disputes in letter format. This means that it can take a while, but it’s necessary. Yes, you can initiate a fraud investigation with phone and fax but some documents are going to need to be mailed to make sure that you have a paper trail. You cannot assume that anyone is on your side just because they claim to be at first. The company is always going to look out for its own best interests. Sometimes when the fraud amount is high there might come some questions about how much of it is really fraud and how much is really yours. So you want to be prepared to defend yourself — you should only be held liable for the debt that’s actually yours.
To make sure that identity theft is less of a risk to you, you will definitely want to make sure that you are keeping your life as secure as possible. You should always be monitoring your credit regularly, by checking your credit file at least once a month. Credit freezes are also a good thing — make sure that you look into your state’s requirements for those.
The last component is your mail — you should never let your mail be unattended if you can help it. It’s better to get a secure mailbox, even if you have to pay more money for this to occur. That’s really all there is to it, so make sure that you get started today!