If you’ve been following along with my Instagram stories and IGTV, then you’ve seen that in the past week, I’ve had my identity stolen and not by some hacker or random person, but by someone who was not only working with me but was what I thought a good friend. After going through emotions of anger and betrayal, it was time to protect myself and fight back. This week I’m sharing my journey of contacting the credit bureaus and what you can do to protect yourself from identity theft.
Don’t get so busy that you forget to protect yourself!
What we’re talking about
- Fraud and Betrayal
- Credit Bureaus
- Credit Tips
Discovering Someone Close Is A Fraud
Recently I discovered that a friend who had been working for me was not only not who she said she was but had stolen my identity in order to make purchases, pay her taxes and open lines of credit. Having your identity stolen leaves you feeling vulnerable, but also encourages you to protect yourself and never let such a thing happen again.
Freezing Your Credit
The 3 credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion and by contacting all of them, you can not only turn on alerts that your cards and/or identity have been stolen, but you can freeze your credit. This might sound like a hassle but the protection is worth it. For major purchases, you will have to contact them all and give them additional information in order to unfreeze it, but the sense of protection and relief is worth it.
Tips For Protecting Your Credit & Identity
There are many tips you can use to avoid having identity theft happen to you. Simple ones such as never use a debit card at a gas station are ways you can start today. Get an annual report of your credit to keep an eye on any kind of suspicious activity that might be going on, change your passwords and make sure they aren’t simple to discover. If you’re also ready, invest in a fraud alert program. Although you’ll pay monthly for the subscription, the peace of mind will ease your fear and worries.