Every year, over 9 million people are victims of personal identity theft. The targeted individuals don’t always realize that the crime has affected them until months or even years after the fact. The following will delve into what to do if identity theft occurs so those whose lives have been changed by this insidious crime will be able to take care of the damage done as quickly as possible.
Pittsfield, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/29/2013 -- Personal identity theft occurs when a person obtains one’s private data and uses it for his own gain. It happens more than most people think, and the results of it are awful. Someone’s once impressive credit score takes a hard hit, falling lower and lower as the thief builds up more credit accounts that he has no intention of paying on. The first thought that enters an identity theft’s victim’s head is what to do when identity theft occurs. That’s a very good question, and here are some answers to it.
The first thing to do when this crime occurs is to file a report with the police. They will take down one’s name and any other pertinent information regarding the crime. Once they have it, they will begin searching for the thief. This can be a time-consuming, seemingly never ending process; be patient.
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Remember, when dealing with the police or other authorities, to keep precise records of any communication, including e-mails, letters, or memos. Keep a record of length of conversations regarding the case, including names of the people spoken to, and any money spent to clear one’s name and credit report. While the police are doing their job, one can learn more answers to what to do if identity theft occurs. Get a copy of one’s credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Go over the report very carefully, looking for fraudulent activity, mistakes, or inconstancies. If there are any, write letters of dispute to the bureaus. After receipt of the dispute letters, the bureaus have 60 days to send one their decisions. Usually, 20% of unauthorized purchases are removed from the credit report.
What to do when identity theft occurs has many answers. There are other law enforcement agencies that can help track down and capture the thief. They include not just the local constabulary, but the FBI. The FBI enters the victim’s information into a national criminal data base. Law enforcement agencies across the country then access it to lead them to the thief.
Legal-yogi.com, an online repository of all things legal, is located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and has more information on identity theft and what to do if one is victimized by it, and knowledgeable staff is always there to address questions and concerns.