Protecting Yourself After An Identity Theft Incident

Posted on: 13 February 2015


You've pulled up to the ATM only to find that you have insufficient funds in your account. After contacting your bank, you are told that you have a negative balance. After some calculating, you quickly discover that you're not the one who has been withdrawing money and charging items to your account. You've been a victim of identity fraud. There are several things you'll need to do when you discover that you've been robbed financially.

Freeze Your Accounts

It can literally take minutes for a thief to get a hold of your bank account numbers and wipe out your savings account until it's dry. While you probably have some sort of fraud alert set up on your accounts, it still may take 24 hours or longer for the bank to notify you of suspicious activity. First you need to get in contact with the bank in which the funds are missing. You will likely have to file a written report with them and possibly the police department. Make sure you lock up and freeze all of your accounts and credit cards, even with other banks. This will stop the damage from spreading.

Take Inventory Of Your Credit

As soon as you can, pull up your credit report. Check to see of any discrepancies or accounts that you don't know about. Some thieves have been planning for a long time, opening up new accounts and credit cards in their victim's name. Pay close attention to credit limits and accounts that are delinquent. A cyber attacker may have opened up a credit card in your name that you know nothing about. Check every 30 days for updates. Contact each credit bureau regarding any discrepancies or false information and file an inquiry.

Contact A Reputable Lawyer

It's important to get a hold of reputable lawyer who will work hard to file a case and bring the right person to justice. Choosing a lawyer who specializes in criminal law and is willing to explore the depth of the identify theft incident will help ensure you get the maximum compensation and the plaintiff gets punished properly. Setting up the case, researching and using skip tracing methods to hunt down the perpetrator are things that your lawyer will do as part of your case.

Prevent Future Incidents

Staying protected for the long-term and preventing a thief from targeting you again is important. This means talking to your bank to set up new accounts with extra preventative measures and new pass codes. Sign up for extra fraud protection when you open new accounts so you will be notified via text, phone or other methods when someone accesses your account from another city or different computer.

Identity theft is a punishable crime. It can be hard to track down the culprit, but with the assistance of an experienced lawyer like Woitas McLeod & Associates you can bring the right person to justice.