How to Recover From Your Money and Identity Being Stolen
Having your money stolen can be quite devastating. Whether it is done online through a digital robbery, or you have your money stolen from you in person, you may still feel bewildered that it actually happened.
Whether you suspected it was going to happen and even if you did not see it coming, having to recover from such a loss can be challenging.
It doesn’t matter if it was just a little bit of money or it was the majority of what you’ve earned.
Many of us may feel violated.
Especially if they stole our identity along with our money. They may see your name on your credit card and learn how much available credit you have.
It may be under $1000 it may be under $10,000. But given the availability, they may figure out how valuable you may be.
The more cards you have the more you need to protect your assets.
Identity theft changes one’s life-FOREVER!
It is simple to prevent.
But when it happens, it can take YEARS, if not longer, to repair the damage.
We have included some critical information on steps to ensure you adhere to which help prevent you from losing your money and identity.
These are simple but can be a matter of being devastated or being able to focus on recovery and moving forward.
Read the measures below to get started with focusing on peace of mind while protecting your money:
- NEVER carry your social security card with you! At this point, no one even needs to see your social security card anymore. All that is required is the last 4 digits to confirm your identity.
- Never carry every single credit card you have with you.
- Don’t carry large amounts of cash on you – Only carry the amount of cash you need with you.
- Avoid using public WiFi to conduct financial transactions. They’re not protected.
- Put all your cards on a copier and copy ONLY the back of your cards. Write the last 4-digits below each card. This way you have the phone numbers of the customer service so you can easily cancel them and get replacements.
- Download each credit card and bank app that you have. Create access to your account. From there, you will be able to LOCK each card or even FREEZE to prevent usage. You can just undo the feature when you are about to make a purchase.
- Use strong passwords for all your online accounts.
- Check your credit report regularly to ensure there are no fraudulent activities, unauthorized charges, or accounts opened in your name.
- Make of copy of your driver’s license and keep it in the safe.
- If your state allows, order a spare copy of your driver’s license and keep it in the safe.
- Get a post office box and have all your financial mail go to it. That way there can not be any interception.
- Install anti-virus software on your computer and keep it up-to-date.
- Don’t leave your wallet or purse unattended, even for a second.
- Be aware of your surroundings and who is around you- especially when using an ATM or withdrawing money from a bank.
- Use a PIN code for your debit card and keep it secret.
- Check your account balance regularly to make sure no unauthorized transactions have taken place.
- Watch out for scams.
- Don’t EVER give away your personal information to people you don’t know, and be suspicious of unsolicited emails or phone calls.
- Invest in a good home security system to keep your belongings safe.
- Do not ever click a link from a text message or email you do not know.
- Above all, have credit monitoring and identity theft protection in place beforehand. Have at least 2 services for guaranteed protection.
If your wallet, purse, money, cards, etc have been stolen, here are critical steps to help you recover:
- You must make a stolen card report with law enforcement AND your credit cards and banks that were applicable.
- If charges occur, you must alert the card issuer(s) to fraudulent charges.
- Use the financial apps for each credit card and bank to alert the institution your card has been stolen. This will prevent you from being accountable for questionable charges.
- If you have not downloaded the apps, reference the copy (from above) of your cards to contact the banks to cancel the cards. They can then send you replacements.
- If you also got a spare ID (mentioned above), then you will be able to confirm your identities such as with law enforcement and the post office as needed.
- Use this backup ID to get your mail in person from the post office (as mentioned above). Should anyone attempt to retrieve your mail, the USPS will already be alerted.
- Change all your financial passwords right away.
- Change all your social media passwords right away.
- Change all your medical and insurance passwords right away.
- If your health insurance card was stolen, alert the insurance company right away to prevent any healthcare fraud and prevent you from being billed or being “diagnosed” by the fraudster.
- Contact the 3 credit bureaus individually yourself to prevent any further identity theft from taking place. Ask them about locking or freezing your credit.
- If you freeze your credit, you MUST write down your security questions and password on a separate paper and LOCK them in the safe. You will need this EXACT information to UNlock or UNfreeze your credit. So be careful!
This information should help you have better piece of mind in protecting your credit and identity from thieves.
You have worked hard to get to where you are today. Now you can be smarter by protecting all you have earned.
Take these steps now to prevent your assets from being in the wrong hands.
Stay safe all!
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