Having your identity stolen is an awful thing that can destroy your credit score and your finances. Recovering afterwards is important for not just your bank account, but for your credit rating as well.
Identity theft can happen to anyone, and given the recent increase in cyber fraud, it is important to know what you should do in case it happens to you.
Helping You to Recover
At Auto Credit Express, we have helped hundreds of thousands get affordable auto financing, and we want to help you in any way we can. In order to do that, we wanted to provide you some tips from the Federal Trade Commission on how to recover.
All You Need Is One
Place an initial fraud alert. You only need to contact one of the three credit reporting agencies to do this, and they will have to notify the other two. What this will do is make it more difficult for anyone who isn't you to open accounts in your name; before any account credit limits are approved, they will contact you directly to verify whether it was you that opened the account. This alert will remain on your report for 90 days, and can be renewed at that time. There is no charge for this service.
Make sure that the agencies have the proper contact information for you so they can easily reach you, and be sure to verify that they will tell the other two agencies.
Get Your Credit Reports
After you set up the fraud alert, you can get a free credit report from each of the three reporting agencies. When you order the reports, ask them to only print the last four digits of your social security number on them for added security. Analyze the reports for any unauthorized activity/accounts. Once you know or if you already know which accounts have been affected by this, establish contact their fraud departments and be sure to follow up with them in writing through certified mail with a return receipt.
Make an Official Report
After you have taken the first two steps, you want to build an Identity Theft Report. This report states what happened and will enable you to properly deal with the companies and collection agencies that were involved with the accounts that were opened by the thief. This report allows you to:
- Get fraudulent information removed
- Stop collections on accounts opened with falsified information
- Acquire information on the accounts in question
The report you submit to the FTC is called an Identity Theft Affidavit. Make a copy of this document for your records, as you will need it when you file the police report. Once you have the police report, that and the affidavit will be your Identity Theft Report.
This report will also help you place freezes on your accounts as well as help you set up an Extended Fraud Alert, further impeding the identity thieves.
Use the Tools
After this, you should have all of the tools you need to dispute transactions that were not made by you. Contact the creditors in question and have them remove the incorrect information from your accounts.
If you are still in the process of fixing your credit after an identity theft and need a car now, don't worry; Auto Credit Express is here to help even if you only have a 500 credit score or $500 dollars to put down. Simply take a couple minutes to complete the hassle free online application for auto financing. You can be back on the road in no time!