Finding out you have been a victim of identity theft is definitely one of the things I wish to never be able to experience. Identity theft can not only drain your finances but destroy your credit, halting any progress you have made. Moreover, this can have an effect on your employment and educational opportunities–not to mention the immense amount of stress and time that involves addressing identity theft.
If this has happened to you, there is a great organization called Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), which is a non-profit entity that provides free help and information to consumers regarding identity theft. Here are some of their resources:
- No-cost victim assistance. You can call 1-888-400-5530 and talk to someone. You can get help with navigating the process of fighting identity theft, fraud, or scams. This call center can provide advice as to how to communicate with credit issuers, financial services, credit reporting agencies, as well as law enforcement.
- Consumer education. While you’re there, you can also access very valuable information that will educate you on scams and fraud–because there are many types! Sign up for their newsletter and get tips every week on how to keep yourself protected.
- Live chat & app. The new app by the ITRC, ID Theft Help, is a great tool to protect yourself and get access to resources wherever you are. It can allow you to track your case, live chat with an identity theft specialist, and having the option to get alerts for recent scams and data breaches. This app is free and available on both Google Play and the Apple store.
Remember to always protect your personal information, as it can change your life if something happens.