Steps to Take for Victims of Digital Identity Fraud - Identity Review | Global Tech Think Tank - Identity Review | Global Tech Think Tank

It’s safe to say that we’re deeply entrenched in the digital age. Quality of life has improved across the board thanks to technological advancements, but these advancements have their downsides, too. While we may rely on increasingly sophisticated tools to go about our daily lives, a few bad actors are using those same tools to commit crime quickly and easily. According to a report by CNBC, around 49 million consumers in America have fallen victim to digital identity fraud, costing a total of $56 billion in 2020 alone.

Most of these identity fraud cases are committed through digital means, either through data breaches or through scams. With identity fraud so common, it’s important to know what to do in the unfortunate event that it happens. Below are five steps to take if you or someone you know is a victim of digital identity fraud.

1. File a claim with your insurance, if applicable

If you find that you’ve been a victim of digital identity fraud, one of the first things you should do is file a claim with your insurance. Identity theft insurance can cover the costs of filing documentation associated with reclaiming your identity, as well as lost wages or legal fees. Some homeowner’s or renter’s insurance packages can also cover losses due to identity fraud, so check if yours does.

2. Notify banks and companies of the theft

Financial identity theft usually falls into one of two categories: new account fraud, or existing account takeover. If it’s the former, contact the associated fraud department of the bank or company and have them close the new account with a note regarding the identity fraud. If you’re dealing with the latter, do the same and ask for clearance once it’s been determined you are not responsible for the transactions.

3. Get in contact with law enforcement

The next thing you’ll want to do is to get in contact with law enforcement, especially those trained in dealing with identity fraud. The growth of remote education and online higher learning institutions has led more people seeking careers in criminal justice to study online. And the flexibility involved in pursuing an online bachelor’s in criminal studies enables these aspiring professionals to seek out more specialized roles and opportunities in the field. Thus, it might be easier and more efficient for you to seek the help of a specialist trained in identity fraud cases, as they’ll be better equipped to help you.

4. Place a fraud report or freeze your credit

Once you’ve gotten in contact with the proper authorities, it’s time to place a fraud report. Placing a fraud report is free, and especially important because it notifies lenders, creditors, and institutions to take extra steps to verify your identity before endowing credit. This prevents whoever’s using your information from committing any more fraud.

5. Tighten security

Finally, once you’ve contacted the necessary institutions regarding your identity fraud, it’s time to take steps to prevent it from happening in the future. There are several ways you can do this. First is to change and strengthen all your passwords, especially for online financial accounts. You can also make use of identity theft protection services. These services can scan the Internet for more fraud cases and send you alerts. Some are even able to offer insurance for financial losses incurred by you due to identity fraud during the duration of your plan.

Written for Identity Review by Jasmin Walters

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