Since both of my Alex Bellamy books focus on some aspect of white-collar crime, (fraud in Taxed to Death and hacking in Fatal Encryption), I’ve read many articles on the topic. It’s a subject that interests me deeply. In fact, I write a blog on various aspects of white-collar crime at www.authorsden.com/debrapurdykong.
Did you know that in America, someone’s identity is stolen every 79 seconds? This type of crime is costing an estimated $50 billion dollars a year. In troubling economic times, ID theft and fraud skyrocket, so here’s some tips on what to do if you’ve been victimized:
Notify your credit card companies and cancel accounts.
Notify your bank and place a stop order on your account if you think it’s at risk. Also let them know if you’ve had checks stolen so they can place a stop payment on any checks issued.
Notify the police.
Notify utility companies and anyone else you have financial dealings with.
Change your PINs and passwords.
Contest any bill or statement when you know you didn’t purchase the item listed, even if it’s a small amount.
If you’ve lost your passport, driver's license or employee identification, advise issuers right away and request replacements.
If your computer’s been tampered with or accessed without your knowledge, scan it for spy ware as soon as you can. Also change any passwords.
Pay attention to mail delivery. A lot of ID theft begins with stolen bank statements, etc.
Create a file of everything concerning the identity theft.
Document all correspondence and request full details concerning money owed.
If you still don’t feel secure about the handling of this matter, it is best to hire an identity theft attorney.
Hope this helps, and be careful out there!
To read excerpts of TAXED TO DEATH and FATAL ENCRYPTION visit www.debrapurdykong.com