The Growing Risk of Identity Fraud
It's said that only death and taxes are inevitable, but scammers are doing everything they can to put identity theft on the exclusive list. As long as we exist, transact and communicate in today's world, no one is immune to the devastating financial and personal consequences of identity theft.
If your identity has been hacked and financial damage has been done or could be, place a fraud alert and credit freeze with any of the three national credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Once you have notified one bureau, it is obligated to inform the other two. You should also direct all asset custodians (banks, credit unions, brokerage firms and credit card providers) to freeze your accounts. Make sure you are aware of how long the alert or freeze stays in effect, in case you need to renew it.
The Federal Trade Commission should definitely be your go-to federal agency when identity fraud occurs. Their website offers step-by-step advice, such as what you should do the minute you realize you have been victimized. Remaining vigilant and knowing how to effectively respond when your assets have been compromised is absolutely key to having healthy finances.