Identity Theft Recovery Tips and Resources

A quick guide to identity theft recovery

There are few processes more painful than identity theft recovery. When you discover that you're an identity theft victim, it turns your entire world upside down. Who did this? How did they get your information? What else will they do with it, and what do they have access to?

Your world is upside down. Your most private information is now public. And worst of all, most victims of identity theft have absolutely no idea what to do next. Fortunately, you're not one of them. The fact that you're reading this article shows that you're already on the road to identity theft recovery.

Simple steps towards identity theft recovery

If you're a victim of identity theft, here's what you need to do.

1. Report it. You have to report identity theft to everyone you can think of, even if their institutions aren't affected yet. Suggestions of who you need to call include your bank, your creditors, your local police, and your local government.

2. Analyze it. Assess the damage. Before you report identity theft you need to know what's gone and where it went. You should know exactly which cards, accounts, and information seem to have vanished.

3. Request investigations. Once you've analyzed the damage, contact each institution or agency directly. For example, if your credit card number is part of the identity theft disaster, call the credit card company not only to report identity theft, but to ask them to launch an investigation into that theft.

Often agencies have some form of insurance or policies in place that can help mitigate the damage if you report the theft quickly enough. Many identity theft victims have also helped catch thieves by immediately reporting their problems in appropriate detail.

4. Request replacements as appropriate. For instance, if your credit card has vanished and you know it's the only piece of information the thieves have hold of, you probably don't need to go through the trouble of acquiring a new SSN. On the other hand, if it's your SSN that's missing you not only need to call the government immediately, you probably need to replace every piece of identification you own.

Governments and credit agencies help a victim of identity theft address these issues, so make sure you report the theft as soon as possible and ask for advice.

Identity theft is a painful and frustrating thing, and if you're an identity theft victim, you probably feel angry, helpless, and maybe even embarrassed. But if you take the appropriate steps, you can strike back against the thieves -- or at least take steps to minimize the damage and make the road to identity theft recovery that much easier.

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