Identity Theft – What to do after your identity has been stolen

identity-theftIf you’ve stopped in the office, there is a chance you may have spoken to Danielle that has been working with me for about 8 years. She’s not only an employee, she’s also a client.

Recently she was dropping her son off at baseball practice and locked her car. When she came back five minutes later, she realized someone had broken her window and stole her purse from the car.

Normally that is a nightmare in itself, but in her purse was every piece of identity from social security cards, to bank account info and the usual credit and debit cards. After calling the police, she began her due diligence on cancelling all of her accounts. In the hour it took her to do that, the thief had already filled up three vehicles with gas and tried using the cards at multiple other stores.

It took many weeks for her to begin getting new information, but in the meantime with all her information out there, will the nightmare continue?

Luckily for Danielle, her renters policy has identity theft coverage included in it, as do all Farmers home insurance policies. This helps protect her in the event someone tries to use that information to steal her identity.

In the short term, here are some things you can do to prevent identity theft if someone steals your wallet:

1. Strip your wallet of anything you don’t really need. Don’t carry all of your credit cards and the family information. Keep it home and only bring the things you use most often.

2. Photocopy all of your key pieces of identification. Danielle didn’t have any other form of photo id that wasn’t in the wallet. A simple photocopy of her drivers license would have saved her hours of frustration trying to get a license replacement.

3. If your Social Security card is stolen, here are the phone numbers to get a report it:

  • Call the IRS Identity Protection Unit at 1-800-908-44901-800-908-4490 FREE
  • File the loss with the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-ID-THEFT1-877-ID-THEFT

    FREE

  • Report the loss to the Internet Crime Complaint Center

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