As hard as we try to keep ourselves safe, identity fraud is likely to happen to most of us sooner or later. Don’t panic. Here are some steps to take, and some resources that can help.
You open your credit card statement, and you see a charge you didn’t make. You apply for a loan, and you notice an account you didn’t open. Oh, no!
For most consumers, this is one of their worst nightmares come true. But just as with disaster or fire preparedness, knowing what to do when we’re a victim of identity fraud is something that we all need to know.
And just as with a natural disaster or a house fire, the first thing we need to remember is: Don’t panic. Take a deep breath and remember your plan. Wait, do you have a plan?
You’re not on your own
Years ago, consumers were largely on their own when they discovered fraud on their accounts. Recovery was painful and laborious, and it was easy to forget crucial steps. Today, although identity theft is still an unexpected pain none of us wants to experience, we have more tools and resources we can use to make recovery go faster.
Identitytheft.gov—learn the steps, create a plan
One of the best links you can keep handy is identitytheft.gov. This site was created by the federal government to help consumers just like you when the worst happens. Go straight to the home page and get started when you suspect some fraud has occurred on your accounts. The site will help you develop a plan and give you simple, basic steps you can put into action immediately, in the order of importance, so you don’t get flustered and thrown off-track.
Or, if you want to review them now, just click browse recovery steps to review what you should do if this ever happens to you. You can even print the handy checklists so you can keep them handy at home or at your office. You can even pull up steps to take for special forms of identity theft, such as tax identity theft or identity theft for minors or medical accounts.
Use our tools—CardNav and Verified by VISA
Don’t forget that there are also steps you can take to help you reduce the possibility and severity of any fraud that might occur on your account. CardNav is an easy app you can install on your iOS or Anroid mobile device to turn your debit cards on or off if they’re ever lost or stolen. You can also limit locations where the card may be used, set thresholds for transaction amounts, and specify the types of transactions permitted. With Verified by VISA, you can register a password on your VISA card to ensure that you’re the only one using it for online purchases. It’s free and easy to set up!
No one wants to be a victim of identity theft. But if you do, don’t be caught unprepared. Review the steps and get your plan in place now! And if you ever experience fraud on any of your Mid Oregon accounts, contact us right away so we can help. too.
Do you want to learn more about keeping your accounts safer from identity fraud? Check out these related resources and articles for more tips and suggestions:
- Stickley On Security (on the Mid Oregon site)
- 10 places NOT to use your debit card (from CreditCards.com)
- Credit card vs. debit card: Which is safer online? (from Nerdwallet)