Misplacing your wallet or purse is a bummer since half of your life lives in it– all your cash, insurance, credit and debit cards. What’s even worse is getting your ID stolen and even though your first instinct is to panic, making a report of the theft immediately should be your first smart move because failure too can easily make you an identity theft static – you
don’t want that.
You would be right to be concerned about identity theft because something like your social security number is a magnet for those thieving crooks. They can use it to impersonate you and once armed with it, use it to open bank accounts and credit cards in your name, get jobs in your name, claim your tax refunds, drain your accounts, to the point of damaging your good name and credit scores.
Identity thieves are crafty creatures, and sometimes all they need is one piece of information from either your SSN, passport, birth certificate, account passwords, credit card, etc. to steal your identity and bring the entire world around you plummeting south. The following are steps you can take to protect your integrity when you lose or get your ID
✔ File a police report – You might think that filing a report is a waste of time because
chances are the police will never find your missing or stolen ID, but this can be a
crucial step toward protecting your identity. It also doesn’t hurt to fill out an
Identity Theft Affidavit form to inform various creditors and lenders regarding your
case of identity theft.
✔ Contact major credit, debit and ATM insurers – Do not be tempted to cancel all
your cards as doing so might mess-up your credit score. Instead, you need to act
immediately and report it as lost or stolen consequently; the card insurer will take
the necessary steps to suspend it to protect your identity and finances.
✔ File for fraud alert – If you suspect that your personal information may be
compromised after a stolen ID, you can significantly decrease the risk of
unauthorized credit activity by filing an initial 90-day fraud alert with the major
✔ Freeze your credit – While the fraud alert will prevent access to your accounts, but
if you have taken your sweet time to contact the three national credit bureaus
consequently, discover fraudulent activity upon reviewing your credit reports, as
you dispute the falsities it may be prudent to put a freeze on your credit to prevent
all access to new lines of credit.
✔ Replace your SSN card – Contact a credit restoration agency because identity
thieves will most likely start applying for loans or lines of credit in your name.
✔ Sign up for an identity theft protection program – To receive Lost Wallet
✔ Review your accounts and credit reports regularly – Alert the credit bureau to
have erroneous information blocked from appearing on your credit report.