How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation


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Your credit report shows loans or purchases that you didn't request. How to Protect Yourself Check your identification is lost or stolen. Do not give your SIN number out to just anyone!

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Do not share your passwords and personal identification numbers PIN with anyone. Shop online safely. Identity Theft - Helpful information about how to protect yourself from identity theft and what you can do if this happens to you. Last updated: January 19, However, we can certainly help you look into your options.

You can get started online with Rocket Mortgage or give us a call at and speak with one of our Home Loan Experts. Thanks for reaching out! Are you looking for a home loan? One of our Home Loan Experts would be happy to work with you at Hope this helps! I have been a victim of identity theft an now I am trying to get my credit back in good standards. This blog post talks about rebuilding your credit after being denied a mortgage, but a lot of the tips still apply.

A good place to start would be to check out QLCredit because you can get your credit report and score for free without affecting your score. If you see anything fraudulent, you can contact the bureaus to start the process of challenging it and having it removed. Hope this helps at least a little. Before we can help you, we need to get your score up to at least so you can qualify for an FHA loan.

If you visit QLCredit , you can get a look at your credit report and score for free without affecting your score. Even better, you can get personalized tips on how to improve your score based on the information in your credit report. You can get in touch with them by calling You are right; we live in a digital world and we often share our photos, address etc. Your email address will not be published. Lending services provided by Quicken Loans Inc. Quicken Loans is available to help with all of your home loan needs! Call to get started! The findings may not be representative of the plight of all victims; but they should be viewed as preliminary and representative only of those victims who have contacted our organizations for further assistance other victims may have had simpler cases resolved with only a few calls and felt no need to make further inquiries.

How to avoid or recover from identity theft

On the other hand, we know of no other survey of victims conducted in as much depth as this. As much as is practical, we let the victims speak for themselves in this report. Key findings illustrate the obstacles victims face when trying to resolve their identity theft cases. Less than half of the respondents felt that their cases had been fully resolved, and those with unsolved cases have been dealing with the problem for an average of four years.

The data pinpoint the failure of law enforcement, government, and the credit industry to address the root causes of identity theft. By not changing their procedures, these stakeholders have both helped perpetuate identity theft and have made it difficult for victims to resolve their cases expeditiously. Although each identity theft case is different, we have been able to identify patterns and trends in the victims' responses. The survey data also verify that the stories in the news on identity theft are not extreme cases in which an unlucky victim has had an unusually bad experience.

As one victim from California stated, "It was as terrible as all the books and articles say it is. For detailed recommendations, go to platform. Provide victims, as well as consumers, with the right to block access to their credit reports. Require matching of at least four points of identity, such as exact name and exact address, date of birth, former address, and Social Security number between credit reports and credit applications.

Improve address-change verification. Close the "credit header" loophole that allows Social Security numbers to be sold on the information marketplace, including over the Internet. II Findings and Highlights.


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Seven respondents estimated that they spent between and hours on the problem. Over one-third of the respondents reported not being able to speak with a "live" representative at Equifax or Experian despite numerous attempts. Less than two-thirds felt that the credit bureaus had been effective in removing the fraudulent accounts or placing a fraud alert on their reports.

Law enforcement agents issued a police report less than three-fourths of the time, and assigned a detective to the victims' cases less than half of the time. Only four of the respondents reported that the postal inspector placed a statement of fraud on their name and address. For example, the license had been stolen and used as identification, or the thief had obtained a license with his or her picture but containing the victim's information.

Many consumers contacted attorneys at public interest law firms and received advice for free. III Analysis of Findings.

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How Can I Protect Myself from Identity Theft Online?

This occurs when someone uses pieces of a consumer's personal identifying information, usually a Social Security number SSN , to open new accounts in his or her name. Thieves can obtain this information in a variety of ways, from going through a consumer's garbage looking for financial receipts with account numbers and SSNs, to obtaining SSNs in the workplace, to hacking into computer Internet sites, or buying SSNs online.

One victim from Nevada explained, " T his is an extremely excruciating and violating experience, and clearly the most difficult obstacle I have ever dealt with. Thieves committed various other types of fraud with the respondents' information, including renting apartments, establishing phone service, obtaining employment, failing to pay taxes, and subscribing to online porn sites. One victim from California relates a particularly involved case:. She received a duplicate California Driver's License from the DMV with my name and number; rented properties in my name, signed a year lease for one residence, attempted to get credit cards and timeshare financing, bought a brand new truck, had liposuction performed via a line of credit, set up various utilities and services in my name Worse even, they booked her under my name in the federal prison of Chicago.

Although most victims did not know how their identity had been stolen, many could point to a loan application requiring personal identification that had been carelessly handled by, say, a real estate agent, or employee records containing a Social Security number that had been used fraudulently by a co-worker or an employer. One victim from Maryland stated confidently, "My situation was directly caused by the policy of health insurance companies who use Social Security numbers and account numbers.

Only 2 of the 66 victims surveyed had reason to believe that the thief had obtained their information via the Internet. Respondents discovered that they had become victims of identity thieves in a variety of ways. People were also alerted to the problem after being contacted by a creditor or debt collection agency demanding payment. In many cases the victims said that they wished the creditor had contacted them to verify a change of address or suspicious application. They felt that if this warning had occurred, they could have stopped the problem more quickly. Victims also reported hearing the news in more startling ways.

One victim from California was stopped by the highway patrol and informed that her license had just been surrendered in Nevada. Another victim was shocked to find that her license had been suspended for a D. Yet another victim learned his plight when the police attempted to arrest him for a crime he did not commit. Respondents spent an average of hours actively trying to resolve problems caused by the theft of their identity.

The victims reported missing several days or weeks of work to put their lives back together, and two people even reported losing their jobs due to the time devoted to identity theft resolution. A victim from California felt that resolving her problem was "nearly a full-time job. Other common problems were being denied credit and having a long-term negative impact on their credit report, which can lead to various other financial difficulties in the future.


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  • Twelve percent of the victims said that there was a criminal investigation of them or warrant issued for their arrest because of crimes the thieves had committed. Victims face these types of problems for years after their identities are actually stolen. Fraud alerts are not effective. Further, the majority of thieves are not caught and continue to use the victim's identity. Over half of the victims surveyed said that their cases had not been solved. One victim reported she had been dealing with the problem for 13 years.

    A victim from California reported that he had to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy because of his thief. He still cannot get a job due to his thief's criminal record. Respondents commonly indicated that when they first realized they had been victims of identity theft, there was nowhere for them to go for help.

    5 Steps to Take Immediately If You've Been a Victim of Identity Theft - Credit Sesame

    One victim stated, "Aside from the organizations like yours, no one seems to care about these criminals. I was three steps ahead of every expert's advice. All but one of the participants in the survey contacted the police about their cases. They reported a high rate of frustration. An elderly victim from California wrote, "Not even the patience of Job helps!

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    One victim stated, "The greatest difficulty was having to file a police report in the precinct where the fraud occurred - 3, miles away. A respondent from California said, "Although the police were not helpful, I have to agree with them. Our legislative people need to give the police more funds and manpower whenever these laws are enacted. Most of the respondents' written comments focused on the lack of police assistance. In many of the situations, the victims themselves took the investigation into their own hands.

    They had found the address, phone number, or other information about the thieves, but the police were unable to follow up.

    A victim from California reported, "They told me it was not their job. Another victim from California, whose thief was finally caught, explained:. I reported this to the police at least twice. They did nothing The thief was accidentally arrested for identity theft during a search of his apartment for a stolen computer.

    How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation
    How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation
    How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation
    How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation
    How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation
    How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation
    How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation
    How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation How to Survive Identity Theft: Regain Your Money, Credit, and Reputation

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