Financial fraud and identity theft can be very scary if you ever fall victim to it. There are many things you can to do prevent it from happening to you, though. If your identity ever does become stolen, there are ways to recover from it but this can take time, patience, and usually money for legal costs. It’s crucial to understand the signs of identity theft and financial fraud so you can catch it early on.
Signs of Identity Theft
One common sign of identity theft is seeing withdrawals from your bank account that you didn’t make. You may also receive phone calls or bills from debt collectors from something that isn’t yours. The IRS may also notify you that another tax return was filed in your name. Merchants might refuse your checks or you may find that you’re receiving medical bills for services you never got. Be vigilant about checking your bank and credit card statements and contact your bank or credit card company if you see errors.
Help yourself and learn how to help others by working in a criminal justice profession. There’s probably no profession more future-safe than criminal justice.
Computer Encryption and Security
One way to protect your information is with computer encryption and security. Encryption will keep your data safe because it makes it very difficult for anyone to access that data that shouldn’t. You can use encryption for securing your data across multiple devices, even smartphones and tablets. You’ll also be able to move your data securely and have it protected at all times. To keep your computer and all of your files safe, you should have proper security with an anti-virus and anti-malware, firewall systems, and password authentication systems.
Credit monitoring companies will constantly monitor your credit for you and alert you if something happens out of the ordinary. Makes sure to go with a company that will monitor all of the major credit bureaus. A company like this will allow you to choose the method in which they communicate with you to make things easier for you. A credit monitoring company will be able to tell you if someone is using your personal information to apply for a job, if someone is using your social security number to open up new accounts, or if they’re using your information to get a cell phone.
Recovering from Identity Theft
It’s very important to act on identity theft or financial fraud as soon as possible. You’ll need to call the companies in which the fraud took place and explain to them that someone stole your identity and you need your accounts frozen. You should also change your PIN number. Visiting the website IdentityTheft.gov will give you a list of things you can do next and allow you to create a recovery plan that will work best for you. You’ll also be able to track your progress from recovering from identity theft. Understand that you are a victim and it’s okay to be upset.
Give yourself time to grieve, but also, work on getting on with your life. If you find this is something you’re passionate about, you may choose to learn about the process it takes to track someone down by studying criminal justice. Many people end up devoting themselves to a profession that relates to a traumatic experience they had.
Identity theft and financial fraud hurts – no matter how little your identity was used or how much money was stolen from you. Work on keeping your information as safe as possible and always use a unique password for every website you visit. Keep a close eye on your accounts so you know right away when something goes wrong. Don’t ever hesitate to contact your local police department and file a complaint if your identity is ever stolen. The police will work to find the person responsible for stealing your identity and serve them justice.