According to the 2017 Identity Fraud Study released by Javelin Strategy & Research*, identity thieves have stolen over $107 billion over the past six years. Events such as last year’s Equifax breach have further forced the issue into the spotlight. While there’s no question that identity theft can leave you feeling vulnerable, you can take effective steps to keep your personal and financial information out of the wrong hands.
Step 1: Notify any affected financial institutions
As soon as you suspect one of your accounts may have been compromised, contact the financial institution immediately. Oftentimes when you call them, financial institutions and creditors offer an option to speak with a fraud protection agent in their opening automated prompt. If fraudulent activity is detected, closing the account as quickly as possible can save you from being liable for any unauthorized charges. Most credit cards now include zero-liability policies, but don’t wait a single minute to report any activity you don’t recognize.