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identity Archives - Sharkey, Howes & Javer

3 Steps to Take Immediately After You Discover Your Identity was Stolen

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Identity theft is much more common than any of us would like to think. In 2014, 32 data records were lost or stolen every second! (source)

We have written about how to protect yourself in the past and recommend reading it again if it’s been a while. That said, sometimes no amount of protection can completely prevent identity theft.

Here are the first 3 things you should do if you suspect your identity has been stolen:

Lock down Your Account(s)

No matter how you discover your stolen identity, through a phone call from your bank or a database breach, the very first thing you need to do is lock down your problem account(s). Contact your financial institution and ask to either lock or close the account. You can usually roll the funds into another account or create a new one.

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10 Tips to Boost Your Travel Smarts

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Traveling is fun, exciting and sometimes stressful. Break-ins, identity theft, pickpocketing, and other traveling mishaps can not only ruin a vacation, they can have a tremendous impact on your life. Learning a few travel lessons before hitting the road can help eliminate many travel misfortunes and free up your vacation for more fun!

1. Leave Home Lived In

Whether you are gone for a long weekend or a trip overseas, it’s important to leave your home looking lived in. Consider putting a light or two on a timer, ask a neighbor to bring in mail, and put a stop on daily newspaper delivery while you are away. Lock up valuables you aren’t taking with you such as jewelry, social security cards, and family heirlooms.

2. Freeze Your Credit

If you plan to be gone for an extended period, consider freezing your credit. A credit freeze blocks access to using your credit so no one can open a credit card or apply for a loan while you are away.

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