Identity Theft Restoration

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The concept of identity theft restoration doesn’t come to mind for most people until they become a victim. In a minute, the life of an identity theft victim can be turned upside down. Important personal information has been stolen to make purchases or create new accounts in the victim’s name. A person often feels defenseless, confused, and angry when their identity is stolen. What’s scary is that months pass sometimes before people realize that it’s happened to them. By this time, a great deal of damage has been done to the point where it could ruin a person’s credit for years to come. That doesn’t mean however that identity theft restoration is impossible. With some knowledge, persistence, and time, it can be done.

Take Action

In the unfortunate event that your identity is stolen, taking action right away is crucial. The first step is to contact either TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax (the three biggest credit bureaus in the US) and request that a fraud alert be placed on your credit report. It doesn’t matter which one you contact, as the bureau you choose is responsible for notifying the other two. By requesting a fraud alert, you are rejecting all pre-approved insurance and credit offers for as long as two years. Also, a fraud alert will help you move toward getting all the fraudulent charges removed from your records by working together with the bureau.

Inform your bank of the matter and close your accounts to prevent any more withdrawals by the thief. Close any credit card accounts that you have and inform the companies that your identity has been stolen.

Identity theft restoration does not happen overnight. The process can be quite lengthy, involving documents being mailed back and forth frequently, making many phone calls, and filling out paperwork. Months or years may be necessary before full identity theft restoration is complete. If damage has been done to the victim’s credit rating, any new loans taken out will have higher interest rates and insurance liability will increase as well until the situation is rectified. If identity theft lawyers are needed, then the costs will even be greater.

While the identity theft restoration process is not an easy one, recovery is very realistic and with time life will be normal again. Monitoring credit reports closely is suggested by financial advisers, especially for those who have had their identity stolen. There is no full proof protection service or methods that will completely eliminate the possibility of identity theft, but by taking precautions you can reduce the chances of it happening to you significantly.

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