Identity theft is a frightening experience. Most people don’t know their identities are compromised until it’s too late. Then after the scam happens, the victim is left with the bag. Most victims have no way of regaining what they have lost because by the time they find out the scammer has already taken out substantial credit on their behalf. Read this blog to learn how you can improve your credit score after identity theft.
It’s important to know that if you’ve been a victim of identity theft, there are options available to you. There are legal and practical ways you can use to erase your good name and prevent more damage from being done.
How do you improve your credit score after identity theft? Let’s discuss.
What is identity theft?
Identity fraud or identity theft is a term that encompasses a wide variety of financial crimes. Identity theft occurs whenever someone successfully uses your identity to impersonate you for financial gain. Identity fraudsters use identity theft for a variety of purposes. Most often, however, they take out loans on your behalf with no intention of repaying them.
Scammers rely on the victim not knowing what has happened for a long time. Most victims don’t understand what happened until months or even years after the crime.
How does identity theft work?
Identity theft is a lot easier than it sounds. A fraudster uses any information they have about you to pass identity checks. Then they use your identity to do what they want.
Fraudsters don’t need a lot of information to commit identity theft. Typically, a name, social security number, date of birth, and proof of address are all enough to commit most identity crimes. In many cases, they may not even need your social security number. Sometimes just a name and date of birth are enough.
Many people find that their information got onto the internet. This happens because of a data breach that results in hackers obtaining large amounts of information from companies that store this information on their servers. This information is then published on the Internet for criminals to use.
Despite all of these possibilities, none of them are the most common form of identity theft. Most identity thefts are carried out by family members who have access to a large amount of personal information and who have an incentive to steal the victim’s identity.
How do you improve your credit score after identity theft?
Check your credit report
The first step in improving your credit history after identity theft is to check your credit report! You can get a free one from any of the three offices once a year at https://annualcreditreport.com. This is a secure government website that encrypts your data so that hackers cannot access it.
Look at your credit report and make sure you recognize each entry on your credit report. If there’s something that you don’t realize that you can’t compare to a lender, it’s time to move on to step 2.
Deny fraudulent items on your credit report
Credit bureaus can remove items they deem to be fraudulent or which have been mistakenly included on your report. However, you only do this if you open a dispute with each of the credit bureaus that have this article on their credit report!
The dispute process usually starts with a call to the credit bureaus and then goes through several steps until a solution is found. Learn more about the dispute process in our article here!
We at The Credit Pros support people in dispute processes. With our legal expertise and understanding of how credit works, we can expedite disputes and ensure that your concerns are taken seriously by the credit reporting agencies. Call us or make an appointment with us today!
How to Improve Your Identity Theft Credit Score
Identity theft is a frightening experience. Check out this latest blog on how to improve your identity theft credit score for more information.
Jason M. Kaplan, Esq.
The credit professionals