Prevent identity theft from happening again in the future: There are a lot of different ways that you can help prevent identity theft from happening again. The most hands-on way is to sign up for an identity theft protection service. These services monitor your credit report, bank accounts, social security number, credit cards and other personal information and alert you of any possible identity theft or out-of-the-ordinary activity. These services also help alleviate the headache in the case that you are a victim of identity theft because they represent or assist you throughout the restoration process.
You can also take extra steps to help protect your identity, including shredding all documents containing any personal information, monitoring your credit report, checking your bank accounts and credit cards statements regularly to verify the purchases were made by you and, lastly, being aware of what you post online. Young said you shouldn’t be afraid of “crying wolf” because most institutions will be happy to help you out.
“Trust your instincts — if something doesn’t seem right or you aren’t sure about a transaction or something you saw on your credit report — ask about it,” she said. “It is better to catch it early and get help than to be in a huge hole that is harder to get out of.
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Julie is a NextAdvisor Content Manager who covers identity theft, VoIP, virtual phone, online college, photo cards, parental controls and people search. She has experience writing for the Silicon Valley Business Journal and as an editor of her college's daily paper. She is a graduate of San Jose State University, and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.