Home » Finance » Credit

Getting Through Identity Theft

Aug 18, 2007
It's painful the day you realize it has happened to you - someone has stolen your identity and done terrible things to your credit score. It's painful, and getting through this can take years.

The discovery can come about in a variety of ways. Many people don't realize their identity has been stolen until suddenly they cannot get the credit they just applied for. Upon checking their credit report, they discover accounts they never authorized listed under their names.

Another possibility is that you will simply have had a credit card stolen, and so receive a phone call from your current credit card company noting unusual use on your account. You may have even received one of these calls legitimately, when you have done unusual spending with your card. But these calls can be a wonderful alert that something has gone wrong and someone is abusing your credit.

How you will react depends on the situation. If it's a stolen credit card or credit card number, you can cancel the credit card and get a new one. You are often well advised to place an alert on your account, which requires some effort on your part, but is one way to know if there are more problems.

In most cases of identity theft you will want to put a watch on your credit through the credit bureaus. You can file a report with all three credit bureaus that will flag your account. This means that you will be called before any new credit in your name can be approved. Inconvenient if you want new credit, but a wonderful way to know that only legitimate accounts can be opened. This initial alert will last for 3 months.

But you may want more. You can request an extension of the fraud alert to seven years, and you can get a free copy of your credit report from all three bureaus. It's a good idea to do this annually, even when you do not expect there to be problems. Identity theft is a nearly silent crime, and catching it can be difficult. The earlier you do it, the less work you will have in fixing it.

Go over your credit reports. Inform the credit bureaus of all fraudulent and inaccurate information. They are required to remove it as soon as they know that the information is incorrect.

All of this can be a tedious process, and you may come up with problems for years to come. You can think you got it all, then find out that there's still a problem. This is why it is far better to be vigilant, and get your credit report annually, than to wait until there's a problem. Paying basic attention to your credit report can make problems a little easier to solve, or at least cut back on the number of them.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs at http://credit-blog.findcreditonline.com/ about credit related issues. For more tips on managing your credit wisely , visit her site.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 105
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources