When pulling your credit report, it is common to find inaccuracies. Sometimes these can be duplicate notices, mistakes in your payment history, or incorrect personal information. If you find information that does not belong to you or you feel was added by someone else, you may be a victim of identity theft or fraud. Your first step should be to immediately report lost or stolen credit cards to your credit union and/or credit card companies.
There are ways to protect yourself before any problems arise. Pixel Privacy has a detailed overview of the types of online identity theft and the best ways to protect yourself. According to Pixel Privacy, the best ways to protect yourself from online identity theft include:
- Install and update anti-virus and spyware software regularly
- Make sure your PIN is hidden when using ATMs
- Before making purchases online, make sure the website is secure and the company is reputable
- Be cautious of phishing scams
- Use strong and unique passwords
- Never provide sensitive information over the phone
- Install security software for your smartphone
- Do not click on suspicious links or reply to email, phone, or text requests for personal information
- Always protect your SSN
- Monitor your bank account and credit card payments daily
We also recommend that you shred all credit and debit card statements or financial documents before you throw them away. Fighting fraud of any kind takes due diligence on your part, so please remember to monitor your credit report, as well as your credit and debit card accounts and statements for unauthorized transactions.