Financial assets are safe when they’re not subject to theft. That’s why it’s important to understand the different types of identity theft and how they can impact you. There are two main types of identity theft: account takeover and new account fraud. Account takeover occurs when a thief gains access to your existing accounts and uses them to make unauthorized charges or withdrawals. New account fraud happens when a thief opens new accounts in your name and runs up debts. Both types of identity theft can damage your credit score and leave you with unwanted financial liabilities. To protect yourself, be vigilant about monitoring your accounts and report any suspicious activity to the authorities. You can also take steps to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft, such as keeping your personal information safe and secure. By taking these precautions, you can help keep your financial assets safe from theft.
- Understand the different types of identity theft and how they can impact you
- Review your credit report regularly to check for any fraudulent activity
- Keep your passwords and PINs confidential and never share them with anyone
- Shred any documents that contain personal information before throwing them away
- Install anti-virus software on all of your devices and keep it up-to-date
- Be aware of scams that could potentially lead to identity theft
If you discover that you are a victim of identity theft, whether from a friend or an unseen stranger online, take these three steps immediately:
* File a police report. Even if you suspect a friend or family member, failing to file a report will leave you liable for any expenses.
* Put a lock on your credit file. This will prevent others from applying for credit using your personal information. It keeps an identity thief from continuing to take out credit using your information.
* Get professional help. If you work with a CFP® professional, tell them what has happened. They can support you in monitoring your accounts during your reviews. Whether you have experienced identity theft or not, some CFP® professionals might be able to set up triggers similar to those sent by banks that ask, “Did you make this transaction?”
The most important thing you can do is keep your private financial information secure. A dose of caution about the financial information you leave unprotected will reduce the opportunity for you to be a victim of identity theft. A CFP® professional can guide you and help ensure that you have confidence today and a more secure tomorrow.
Identity theft is a serious crime that can have long-term consequences for the victim. By taking some simple precautions, you can help protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft and keep your financial assets safe. Resources like the ones we’ve provided in this blog post can help you stay informed about the latest scams and frauds, how to spot potential red flags, and what to do if you become a victim of identity theft. Follow these tips to help safeguard your personal information and reduce your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.