Identity Theft: Protect Your Credit Score

Who Can Help?

Identity theft can seem daunting, but with the right resources and dedication, it is possible to restore your credit score. The following resources can provide more information about preventing identity theft and recovering from it, as well as, points of contact. You don’t have to be a victim.

Fighting Back Against Identity Theft: This website from the Federal Trade Commission provides resources for consumers, businesses, law enforcement, military, and the media about identity theft. It also has contact information about reporting identity theft if you are a victim.

US DOJ: Identity Theft: This website from the US Department of Justice offers information explaining identity theft, the common ways it is committed, resources if you are a victim, and what this department is doing to fight it.

FTC and US Consumers: This FTC website provides publications, facts for consumers, and up-to-date consumer alerts about the many aspects of identity theft. You can even get an identity theft kit.

Identity Theft and its Impact on Social Security Numbers: The government’s SSA website provides advice on how Americans can keep their Social Security number safe from theft. It discusses the importance of keeping your number confidential, how it might be stolen, and things to consider if you want to apply for a new number.

Identity Theft Task Force: The federal government website for the President’s Task Force on identity theft, created by George W. Bush, provides information about the task force, reporting instances of identity theft, a strategic plan for combat, and a victim assistance guide.

Facts on Identity Theft: The website from the Attorney General of Washington State provides staggering facts on the costs of identity theft and resources for protecting consumer and the youth and seniors in particular.

Dealing with Identity Theft: This website from the Washington State Department Financial Institutions offers tips on how to handle identity theft if it occurs, what do do if you lose valuable financial information, and how to place a credit freeze.

OnGuard Online: This site encouraged consumers to stop, think, then click. It’s mission it to encourage good computer safety and security habits to discourage online identity theft.

OIG Tips Against Identity Theft: This article from the Office of the Inspector General tells students “Don’t let identity thieves steal your future!” It emphasizes identity theft awareness to college students and explains why they make such enticing targets.

FDIC Anti-Identity Theft Website: A section of the from the FDIC website provides resources for identity theft awareness. Highlighted are a set of humorous videos that relay a practical message about phishing.

Guarding Against Identity Theft: A website from the Police Department of the University of Oklahoma explains to readers why identity theft is the second most reported crime to the federal government and why it is quickly increasing. It then explains how thieves can obtain your information, how they use it, and how to tell if your information is in the hands of these “clowns.”

Identity Theft Program: This program from the School of Criminal Justice of Michigan State University highlights information about this program, technical assistance, resources for victims, and how to prevent identity theft.

Reporting Identity Theft: A website from Merrill Lynch that advises people on how to go about reporting identity theft.

Arming Yourself Against Identity Theft: This University of Baltimore article provides valuable tips about how to protect yourself against identity theft.

Identity Theft Risk Assessment Quiz: Take this quiz from Rutgers New Jersey agricultural Experiment Station and see how much you know about identity theft and if you make a good potential target.

The Facts on Identity Theft: This section from the University of Virginia’s website provides assistance to make sure you are not a victim of identity theft. Discussed is the intensity of this issue, prevention tips, what to do if your information is compromised or your computer is stolen, and some fun games to test your knowledge!

Identity Theft Prevention: Missouri Attorney General, Chris Koster, addresses identity theft in a brief but informative manner.

Defining Identity Theft: Ohio Attorney General, Mike DeWine, defines identity theft and highlights security breach information for businesses, agencies, and individuals, redaction requests, and provides teaching materials.

Tax Records and Identity Theft: The IRS discusses important information about your tax records and identity theft on this website and what you should do if your tax information is effected.

Occurrence of Identity Theft: The state government of Iowa addresses what to do when bad things happen to your good name. This article discusses how identity theft occurs, how to protect yourself, and how the Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement can help.

Identity Theft in California: This website describes how identity theft has negatively impacted the lives of Californians in particular and consumers as a whole. There are also resources for registering identity theft, applications, and forms.

The Scourge of Identity Theft: This Virginia Attorney General, Kenneth Cuccinelli, provides a FAQ section for victims of identity theft.

Identity Theft Answers: The Department of the Treasury provides steps for victims, as well as, what to do if a company contacts you and you have questions of its legitimacy.

How to Stop Identity Theft: This website of the Attorney General from Texas provides six steps that people can use to fight identity theft. These steps are “Stop,” “Report,” “Fill Out,” “Prevent,” “Monitor,” and “Declare.”

Protect Your Credit Score, Part 1

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I protect my credit after identity theft?

    If you’ve been a victim of identity theft, take these steps to safeguard your credit: Contact the credit bureaus to place a fraud alert, review your credit reports for any fraudulent activity, report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), file a police report, freeze your credit to prevent new accounts being opened, and monitor your accounts regularly for unauthorized activity.

  2. Will identity theft affect my credit score?

    Yes, identity theft can harm your credit score. Fraudulent activity, such as unauthorized credit card charges or loans taken in your name, can lead to late payments, increased debt, and collection accounts. It’s crucial to address these issues promptly to minimize the impact on your credit score.

  3. How long does it take to recover from identity theft?

    The time required to recover from identity theft can vary depending on the extent of the fraud and the actions you take. It may take several months to resolve the issues fully. Timely reporting, cooperation with credit bureaus and financial institutions, and following up regularly can help expedite the recovery process.

  4. Should I close all my accounts after identity theft?

    Closing all your accounts may not be necessary or recommended after identity theft. Instead, contact the affected financial institutions to report the fraud and work with them to resolve the issues. They can guide you on the appropriate steps to take, such as changing passwords, monitoring transactions, or closing specific accounts if needed.

  5. Can I dispute fraudulent charges on my credit report?

    Absolutely! If you find unauthorized charges or fraudulent accounts on your credit report due to identity theft, you have the right to dispute them. Contact the credit reporting agencies and provide them with the necessary documentation to support your claim. They will investigate the matter and remove any inaccuracies resulting from the identity theft.

  6. How can I prevent future identity theft?

    To reduce the risk of identity theft, follow these preventive measures: safeguard personal information, such as Social Security number and financial details, be cautious of phishing scams and suspicious emails, use strong and unique passwords, regularly monitor your credit reports, shred sensitive documents before discarding, and consider using identity theft protection services for added security.

Save Time, Money, & Resources

Categories: Credit Cards

Get Started

Ready for the ultimate credit card processing experience? Fill out this form!

Contact HMS

Ready for the ultimate credit card processing experience? Ask us your questions here.