3 ways to protect yourself from identity theft
Identity theft can be a devastating and frightening time in a persons’ life. The financial and emotional toll that it takes can be overwhelming. With the advancement of technology, it is unfortunately on the rise and can be very difficult to recover from it. Not only do identity thieves often steal money from your bank account, they will take out credit cards in your name and ruin your credit.
Here are three ways protect yourself from identity theft
- Get your credit report: It is important that you check your credit report at least once a year to make sure that there aren’t any charges or other negative reports damaging your credit. If someone has taken a credit card out in your name and you were not aware of it, it will show up on your credit report. If there are negative reports on your credit report as a result of the identity theft, you may be able to submit an identity theft dispute that will requires the credit bureaus to remove that information. You may also be able to put an identity theft freeze on your report to prevent further use of your credit. There are 3 credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. You can go to annualcreditreport.com to obtain a free credit report from each bureau each year.
- Only Carry the essentials: It is never a good idea to carry important documents with you such as your social security card, extra credit cards, a birth certificate, or your passport. If these documents are stolen or misplaced they are all an identity thief will need to steal your identity and open accounts in your name. These documents should be kept in a safe place such as a firebox, or a safety deposit box at your bank and only carry them with you when absolutely necessary.
- Shred Shred Shred: Your trash is a treasure chest for identity thieves to sift through. Any credit card statements, bank account statements, doctor’s bills, or anything else with personal information on it is gold for an identity thief. The best way to prevent these trash pirates from getting this valuable information is to shred your important papers before sending them to the curb.
Call for a free consultation with our Identity theft lawyer
If you suspect or know that your identity has been stolen, you should get legal help as soon as possible. Contact our Chicago identity theft attorneys online or call 866-726-1092 for a free consultation. We handle a majority of our cases on a contingency basis.