Identity theft can ruin your credit score. Here are seven tips to prevent an identity thief from ruining your good name and credit rating.
Seven Tips To Prevent Identity Theft From Ruining Your Credit Score
1. Check your credit score regularly. If you check your credit score often, at least every three months, you’ll be alerted to activity that indicates an identity thief is at work, and be able to take steps to mitigate the damage.
2. Open all bank statements, credit card statements and other financial statements immediately upon receipt, and check them carefully to ensure that you are aware of every transaction that has occurred. If you don’t understand a transaction, or you don’t recall it, check with the financial institution immediately. It could be an early indication of identity theft.
3. Call your credit card company for a list of your recent transactions in between statements. There is no better way to guard against having your credit score ruined by identity theft than by closely monitoring your credit cards, and it’s easy to call and check your card transactions in between statements.
4. Develop a personal relationship with your bank. I know the people at my bank by name. If something is the least bit unusual in my financial transactions they pick up the phone and give me a call.
5. Don’t leave accounts dormant for long periods of time. Close them, and transfer the funds to active accounts where you can monitor them.
6. Limit the number of credit cards, and lines of credit you have. It’s easier to keep tabs on one or two credit cards, or lines of credit than several, and also easier to halt and remedy the damage if an identity thief strikes.
7. If you are the victim of identity theft, notify all the financial institutions with which you deal immediately, and record the details of your notification, and all of your subsequent dealings with them in respect of the identity theft until it is resolved. It could be much harder to resolve the matter of your identity theft than you at first anticipate, and you’ll be well served by complete documentation concerning who you notified of the theft, how you notified them, and when.
It’s impossible to completely protect yourself from identity theft, but if you follow the seven tips above, you’ll limit the damage to your credit score and be able to repair it quickly.