Friday, December 11, 2009

Avoid Identity Theft Online

At times, no matter how careful we are and no matter how strong our software protection, it's still possible to be a victim to online thieves.
According to my reads, here are several steps you can take to proactively discover and recover from identity theft.
  • Read statements carefully well. - Try to spend a few minutes preusing your credit card and account statement carefully each month. Take the time to follow up on any charges you aren't familiar with. The earlier you catch, the better.
  • Check credit reports annually. - There are recent changes to the law requiring credit rating agencies to provide consumers free copies of their credit reports at least once a year. Most often, people don't even know about accounts fraudulently opened in their name until they show up on a credit report or in a collection notice.
  • Be aggressive. - Once you confirmed, or when you suspect an identity theft or credit card fraud, don't wait around. Contact your credit card provider or the financial constitution concerned and put the account on hold. Provide all information you can to help the institution in the investigation and demand notifications in writing. Let credit rating agencies know and let them put a fraud alert on your profile as well as making the event less likely to falsely harm your credit scores. Change all your passwords and PINs in case the theft extends beyond the account where it was discovered.