Identify theft can lead to lost money – this is the message law enforcement would like to send all Americans, especially those who have recently moved. When a person moves, they typically report their change of address to their employer, their bank, and to the government at tax time. If the address isn’t changed, checks can be mailed to the old address. This leaves the checks open to identity theft and lost money at the same time. To prevent lost money from becoming a liability, here are a few things to think about and a few tips to help better manage any lost money that may be owed to you.
Prevent Lost Money – Notify Companies of Change of Address
The first thing you can do to prevent lost money is make sure your address is updated with all institutions that may send you money in the future. Earlier when we said that identity theft can lead to lost money, we talked about paychecks, bank accounts and tax returns. Start with those three. If you have any previous jobs, make sure lost money isn’t being sent to your old address in the form of a paycheck. And plenty of people abandon bank accounts every year. Are you sure you’re doing your part to prevent lost money at every turn?
Lost Money and Credit
Once you’ve notified all institutions that may owe you lost money of your change of address, the next step is to contact the three credit unions – Experian, Trans Union and Equifax. These institutions can put an alert on your account that will flag all three institutions if anyone ever tries to get credit in your name. This will prevent anyone from buying a car, house or any other big-ticket item in your name.
Now you may be wondering what lost money has to do with credit. If you don’t prevent lost money from going to your previous address, say in the form of a lost paycheck, the person can go to the Social Security office and pretend to be you. Your old address may even be on file, further making their case. If the person can forge a birth certificate and driver’s license with your name and address, they can get your social and then they basically are you.
Now you can easily see that identity theft can lead to lost money and vice versa by understanding how it actually works. The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from becoming a victim of identity theft or your lost money getting into nefarious hands, is to notify the proper institutions of your change of address, any updates to your name or identity and contact the credit unions to have them monitor your account. Just by paying very close attention and by being vigilant, you can prevent lost money from ever becoming part of or wreaking havoc on your life.
Now that you know how identity theft can lead to lost money, you can do your part to prevent it from ever happening. So take the few extra minutes when opening an account to select a more unique password or even protect your accounts or credit cards even further by putting in an additional pass code to even be able to use or access it. If this is something near and dear to your heart or that you have seriously been thinking about getting more on top of, then why not contact the companies you deal with and ask them directly what they suggest or possibly offer with their service to further protect your account or even to have them monitor your accounts more closely on your behalf.