There are a lot of activities that you can do online, such as online shopping, processing of bills, managing your bank accounts and a lot more. In some cases, the vital information that is stored can get to the hands of an identity thief. This is one of the disadvantages of dealing with your accounts online. Official websites make sure that the information of their visitors and their clients are in good hands, but with the improvement in technology, the possibilities are endless. It is good to be extra cautious when you are making online transactions.
If you have been a victim of identity theft, you have to report the crime as soon as possible so that no other activities can be done with your account without your consent.
Here are the steps on how you can report online identity theft:
- Signs. If you suspect that someone may be tampering with your online accounts, you must take immediate action. Some of the signs that you may be a victim of online identity theft are unexplainable activity in your online accounts, purchases on your accounts that you did not make and credit cards that are under your name but you did not apply for.
- Notify the authorities. The first thing you have to do is to notify the authorities of the unusual activities that are going on. You can complain to the FBI on the website ic3.gov for online fraud complains. You can also notify your local police as they may help in fixing the problem. Another agency you can contact is the Federal Trade Commission. They can protect consumers from identity theft and can also help in the investigation of the fraud. You can file your complaints on the website ftc.gov.
- Contact concerned institutions. Contact the institutions that use the account that was hacked. Contact the financial institutions and tell them about the identity theft and ask them to cancel your account. The institution can help you in tracking if there are any transactions that have been made without your consent. Keep all the statements of account that you receive in the mail to assess which transactions are done by you and which ones are done without your consent.
- Credit bureaus. Contact the credit bureaus to get a report on your credit history on all of your credit accounts. Notify them of the identity theft and ask about your credit records. Your name may have been used for a new account where another address is used. There are three credit bureaus in the United States. These are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can notify the identity theft by contacting only one of them and they will be the ones to notify the other two bureaus.
These are the steps you have to take when you are a victim of identity theft. In making online transactions, make sure that you go to websites that are trusted. Avoid making online transactions as much as possible so that you would not be a victim of identity theft and other online frauds and scams.