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Identity Theft. How to Overcome It.


 

If you have a lower score that you would like, odds are that the score is caused by some small financial mistake or oversight you have made in the past. However, not every person with poor scores is caused by something they’ve done directly. Sometimes, other people’s criminal activity can affect your score. Here are a few tips that can keep you and your credit safe form online and financial predators:



Many people who are careful about paying bills on time and having minimal debts are shocked each year to find that they have low scores. In many cases, this happens as a result of identity theft. Identity theft is a type of crime in which people take your personal information and steal that information to pose as you in order to get access to your accounts or identity.


For example, someone with your PIN numbers can remove small amounts of money from your bank account each month or someone can use your name and personal information to get cards in your name and use those credit cards with no intention of paying back the money. You are stuck with large debts and the poor score.


To prevent identity theft, the best and easiest way is to obtain a credit monitoring account that will keep you up to date with monthly credit reports from all three credit bureaus and alert you of any changes to your credit. Additionally, always check your bank account statements carefully each month. There are some great apps out there that can help with catogorizing your finances such as Marcus by Goldman Sachs (our personal favorite), or Mint.com by intuit. Use these platforms to help spot and report any suspicious activity or any charges you don’t recognize at once. Also, check your credit report regularly and immediately investigate any new accounts you do not recognize - this is the best way of detecting and acting on identity theft.


Another great tool to help avoid ID theft is using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN is a service that helps guard your browser history and personal information from any unwanted parties. It uses high levels of incription to make sure you online activity is always protected from any device. And since online Identity Theft is the most common, its maybe the most relevant solution to the topic. While there are many VPN's out there, one of the best by far is Express VPN for it's security, pricing and ease of use.


If you have been the victim of identity theft, report to the police at once and get a police statement. Send copies of this to your bank and credit bureaus. Better yet, get the bureaus to attach the report to your report, if you can. Close all your accounts and reopen new ones. You should not have to pay for someone else’s illegal activity.



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