The first step is to position yourself to prevent identity theft happening in the first place. Shredding documents that you no longer need is a good first step. Records that contain important personal and business information, like bank account information, social security numbers, signatures, and other confidential information, should be securely stored in a professional storage facility.
When you see a red flag, take action. If you get a call from a creditor that you’re not expecting or a letter about credit on purchases that you didn’t make, there’s a problem. You can detect identity theft by being aware of your financial picture, where your confidential information is stored, and take action when things don’t seem right.
Hopefully you’ve taken the proper steps to prevent identity theft by investing in document destruction or document management services. But if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of identity theft, immediately contact the company where the fraudulent transaction occurred. Notify them of the situation and ask if they have any process for handling identity theft. There’s a chance you may have to file a police report. Secondly, it’s recommended to complete an Identity Theft Report with the Federal Trade Commission. You can complete the report online or call 877-438-4338.
Technology can streamline and simplify our lives and the way we do business, but it can also add complexity to protecting our important information. Follow these tips to protect your identity, your important business and personal information, and your livelihood.