Identity Theft: So You Gave Your Information to a Phisher -- Now What?

How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft Once You've Given Your Information Away

So you received one of the convincing phishing emails or phone calls and you accidentally gave your personal information to a phisher. Now is not the time to panic. You need to act and you need to act quickly.

The Information Is Going To Be Used

First things first, you need to come to terms with the fact that the criminal who got your information is most likely going to try to use it. After all, they wouldn’t go through all the trouble to get your information if they didn’t intend to use it in one identity theft scheme or another. With that in mind, it’s also important to understand that panicking isn’t going to do you any good and you need to be calm in order to take proper action.

File a Police Report

The first thing you are going to want to do is file a police report. Let the police know that you fell victim to a phishing scam that has put you at a risk of identity theft. You need to document this and the police should be more than willing to help.

Fraud Alerts

Once you have filed a police report, you’re going to want to place fraud alerts on each of your three credit reports. When you file a fraud alert with one of the credit bureaus, it automatically gets placed on all three bureaus, so you will not have to contact each of the three credit bureaus individually.

Passwords

To protect yourself and your accounts from identity theft, you’re going to want to contact your banks, credit card companies and utilities and place passwords on each of your accounts. This will prevent the identity theft criminal from being able to access those accounts without your password.

Check Your Credit Report

In two to three months, order a copy of your credit report to make sure you haven’t been the victim of identity theft. Review your credit report closely and look into any entries that look suspicious.

Credit Monitoring Services

You might also want to consider about signing up for credit monitoring services. This will help you keep an eye on your credit and will help you keep tabs on whether or not someone is trying to use your information to gain access to credit accounts.

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