Identity theft through phone or internet scams is an ever more common means of committing fraud and identity theft as thieves have realized that valuable personal information can be acquired from unsuspecting victims without ever risking close physical proximity. The types of scams thieves can utilize are virtually limitless, and the prevalence of social networking and the ever-increasing use of technology in everyday lives have made these scams all the more simple to perpetrate. If you have fallen victim to a scam, or even if you’ve only been targeted but were quick enough to spot the scam for what it was before volunteering your personal information, there are a few quick steps you can take to properly report the scam, in the hopes that the thief will not be able to victimize more unsuspecting consumers in the future.
In the event that you were targeted by a scam, you should contact the company involved in the scam immediately. In other words, if you received a scam email about Chase Bank, you should forward the scam email to Chase.
If you move fast you might be able to head off the use of some of your information or of other’s information that may have been compromised.
If you DID fill out one of these scam forms and entered any password information – change it immediately. While you’re logged into your accounts, check your transaction history, if possible, to see if there are any fraudulent entries. In the event that you find one, call or email the fraud department of the company involved and let them know that your account has been compromised.
In the event that any banking information was compromised, you should call your bank or credit card company to see if any fraudulent transactions have shown up and to possibly arrange for new cards or accounts.
If you entered your Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Address, etc into the form, you will need to follow the steps for a preliminary identity theft case, as there’s now a very good possibility you’ve become an identity theft victim. You should take all the precautionary measures you can in order to mitigate the damage that will be done. You can find an outline of these steps on the Identity Theft Resource Center’s website at www.idtheftcenter.org.