It should come as no surprise that identity theft is a popular crime in South Florida. After all, we do live in the sunny state for shady people. But there are steps you can take to prevent against identity theft.
- Use an identity theft protection and credit monitoring service. One such service is LifeLock. While the annual fee might be a deterrent, they do offer discounts through partnerships with national retailers like Costco. I personally use an app called Prosper. It doesn’t have the costly annual fee, and keeps tabs of all my important information.
- Keep tabs on your credit. All three credit agencies offer free yearly reports on your credit. If you space out your requests throughout the year, you can get credit reports every four months. Another option is to use an app like CreditKarma, which updates your score weekly and allows you to see the information the agencies are using that impact your score.
- Freeze your credit. If you feel especially vulnerable to identity theft, you might want to consider freezing your credit for up to 90 days. While it may seem a bit extreme, freezing your credit makes it difficult for new accounts to be opened in your name. You’ll need to contact all three credit agencies – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax – to do that.
- Contact the IRS. The agency has several forms available to notify them of possible wrongdoing. They can also establish additional layers of security. For example, establishing a password that you must include on your tax returns to verify your identity.
- Inform the Federal Trade Commission. The government agency has a step-by-step process based on different types of fraud.
Taking these steps as soon as you suspect you’ve been a victim of identity theft will help you clear your name and your credit. Have a question or need more help? Let a private investigator help you today! Feel free to email us or call us at 305-929-3513.