Imagine you’ve been saving money for a down payment on a home for a couple years. Plus, you’ve been doing everything you can to improve your credit score. However, you recently checked your credit report and noticed a credit card balance for thousands of dollars on a card that you’ve never taken out. Oh, no. It appears that someone has stolen your identity and opened an account in your name.
There are many ways thieves can steal your identity and financial information, including credit card skimming, scams or phishing, and hacked computer accounts. At best, identity theft can wreak havoc in victims’ lives by causing a major inconvenience; and, at the worst, it can lead to financial ruin and the loss of the victim’s reputation.
If you become a victim of identity theft, here are some tips from the National Cyber Security Alliance on what you need to do:
- Contact the bank or credit card company on the phone and in writing, and notify them that someone is using your identity and has opened an unauthorized account.
- Contact your bank and other financial institutions to freeze your accounts.
- Close any unauthorized or compromised credit or charge accounts. Cancel each credit card.
- Contact the Social Security Administration if someone has stolen your Social Security number.
- Contact the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles if someone has stolen your driver’s license or car registration.
- File a report with your local law enforcement agency.
- Contact one of the three credit bureaus to report the crime. Ask them to place a fraud alert on your credit report to prevent any more fraudulent activity from occurring. The other credit bureaus will automatically be contacted.
- Change your passwords for all of your online accounts. Make sure all passwords include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a month focused on how to create a safe, secure and resilient cyberspace to reduce the threat of cybercrime. To learn ways you can protect yourself from identity theft and fraud, visit www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam/.
At Grandview Lending, our priority is protecting your personal information. When you apply for a loan through us, we take every precaution to keep your information confidential. Also, you can rest assured that we never sell your information to any individual or company. We respect your privacy. So you can put your trust in Grandview Lending for all your loan needs.
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