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How to recover from ID fraud and ID theft
Being a victim of ID fraud isn’t just inconvenient; it can also cause you financial harm and can affect related issues such as your credit score and history. Once you have identified that you are a target of identity fraud and/or ID theft, then you need to make a start recovering from id theft. The measures that you need to take when recovering from ID theft will vary depending on what kind of ID fraud or ID theft you have been subjected to. But it is vital to figure out your recovery process to avoid running into difficulties further down the line.
What do you need to do?
If you suspect or know that you are a victim of ID fraud or theft, then there are various measures that you can take to put the situation right. You may not need to implement all of these measures, but simply figure out which ones are applicable to your situation and take it from there. So, for example, you may need to:
- Contact a credit reference agency: Credit reference agencies (such as Equifax) will allow you access to your credit history so that you can check if any ID fraud or ID theft activity has been made by somebody else. You may find that these organizations can also give help and advice on how to handle the process of making things right as they will have fraud specialists in place to help you.
- Contact relevant organizations: If you think that another person has used your identity to take out financial products or to claim benefits, for example, then you need to contact the relevant organization, explain the situation, and confirm that you did not actually take action. Make sure to take notes and to mark down times and dates of calls.
- Contact the police: In some cases, you will need to contact the police to report cases of ID fraud and ID theft. In other cases, you will find that the organizations involved (i.e. banks and financial institutions) will report the identity fraud themselves. If you need to contact the police while you are recovering from ID theft, then the organization may advise you of this.
- Report lost documents: If you have lost (or had stolen) financial documents such as credit cards, passports, and cheque books, then you will need to report them missing to have them cancelled and replaced.
- Contact the Post Office: One big step in how to recover from ID fraud when you think that the fraud occurred because somebody stole your post is to contact the Post Office to prevent this happening in future. There is a special frauds investigations team that can help you out in this regard.
The key thing to do when recovering from ID theft is to work through the steps you need to take logically and carefully. Until this kind of thing happens to you knowing how to recover from ID fraud is not a given; you may need to take specific identity fraud advice from ID fraud and ID theft specialists.
Keep in mind that you can stop identity fraud when you identify that it is happening to you and there are measures that you can take to help in your recovery from ID theft. Take the time to make things right.
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