Identity theft is terrifying. When people get a hold of your records, they can do anything from open up accounts in your name to raid your bank accounts and investments. These activities can destroy your credit and create inconvenient situations such as not having access to cash.
If you are a victim of cybercrime, do the following to limit the damage:
Call a credit reporting agency
If your identity is stolen, one of the first things the thief will do is open up credit card accounts in your name (and start making purchases). Credit reporting agencies such as Equinox or Experian monitor and record all your transactions. By contacting them early, you can limit the number of accounts opened in your name-and the damage done to your credit. You are also given a free copy of your credit report, which will allow you to personally notice any odd transactions and begin the process of fixing your credit.
Call your bank
Thieves may also take advantage of your existing resources, like your bank or credit card accounts. Essentially, this means making online purchases using your bank or credit card accounts. In extreme cases, a thief will reproduce your card and use it to make purchases in person.
Call your bank immediately after you notice the intrusion and have them deactivate all your current credit and/or debit cards. You can also request new cards with different numbers-most banks give cybercrime victims new cards for a small fee (or even for free). This allows you to get your life back to normal while avoiding any more fraud. Your bank can also tell you whether or not your account has been accessed and begin the process of recovering (or protecting) your funds.
Talk to the police
Since most cybercrime originates in other areas of the country (or even the world), it’s highly unlikely that your local police department will be able to catch the perpetrator. This doesn’t mean you should ignore them, however; always file a police report. First, it gives you evidence of an attack, which could help you in case you have to fight the bank to get a refund.
Local authorities can also forward information about your attack to Federal agencies tasked with tracking down cyber criminals. These agencies have the resources to go after these criminals and can use your attacks as clues to help them narrow down suspects.
Keep a record of your online activity
By tracking your purchases or other online activity prior to the incident you can help the authorities recognize dangerous or vulnerable sites (this doesn’t do much to help you, but it can help others from becoming victims of identity theft. Once you have taken steps to protect yourself, write down every purchase you made recently. This will help you identify which purchases were made fraudulently and which were legitimate online transactions.
This article is written by Westbrook Julian a writer and editor, she actually uses differents tools such VPNs and Firewalls to keep her IP address private from websites, hackers and advertisers and so to surf the Internet safely.