With the recent news of Government, companies and schools loosing confidential data you may ave begun to wonder if anything is safe anymore. Read on for information on what to do.
It may have already happened to you. A letter or phone call from your bank or alma mater, stating that a hacker broke into the system and your information was on the computer. Perhaps it was the stolen laptop a company employee took home which has compromised sensitive data on thousands of people, and that you could be among them. What should you do?
In the past 15 months more than 85 million people have had such calls or letters from corporations, universities and other organizations alerting them that their personal or financial data might have been exposed.
It may be true that not all consumer data leaks will result in financial loss or identity theft. Experts agree that your chances of becoming a victim does depend on how well you know your rights and how quickly you take action.
The most important thing that you can do is react quickly. Next is to be organized and also to make sure that you document all of the phone calls and letters you send out to protect your data.
The first action for anyone whose Social Security number was lost or stolen should be to immediately report it to one of the three major credit bureaus. You simply request that a 90-day fraud alert be placed on all credit files.
You can have this alert done indefinitely, but must do so every 90 days. The credit bureau that you contact is required to contact the other credit bureaus, which will place an alert on their versions of your report. This action then requires businesses and creditors to call you before extending additional lines of credit.
If you have evidence of an attempt to open a fraudulent account, your first action is to contact the creditor immediately. You should also file a report with the local police department. Keep a copy of the police report if you receive one or minimally get a police report number.
This evidence of fraudulent activity allows you if victimized to request that a 90-day fraud alert be extended to seven years, though a credit bureau will require proof of identity and a copy of the police report.
What are your benefits to placing a fraud alert? You are then entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the major bureaus, in addition to the free yearly report the law allows every consumer. This allows you to monitor your credit without additional cost.
Once you receive your credit report, alert the credit bureaus and credit issuers in writing of any discrepancies or fraudulent accounts listed. You also have the right to have the credit bureaus strike any inquiries against your credit history that were generated by fraud. Having kept records of your actions is usually enough evidence.
There are other ways in which you may have lost money. For example you may not have received your final paycheck or perhaps your utility deposit was not returned when you moved. If this is something that could have happened to you and you would like to claim your money do a free money search with CashUnclaimed.com.