Financial Protection: Victim of identity theft? Essential steps to take now
These days when scams are commonplace, it is critical to make sure your information remains safe, and you know how to handle in case your information gets compromised.
Your financial identity is very important, and it needs to be safeguarded at any cost. These days when scams are commonplace, it is critical to make sure your information remains safe, and that you know how to handle it in case your information gets compromised. Here is what you must do when your identity is misused to cause financial loss.
Report the identity theft to the police: You can do this at the nearest police station. The police will create an FIR (First Information Report) and investigate the matter.
Place a fraud alert on your credit reports: You can do this by contacting each of the three major credit bureaus in India: CIBIL, Experian, and Equifax. A fraud alert tells creditors to take extra steps to verify your identity before opening a new account in your name.
Place a credit freeze: You can do this by contacting each of the three major credit bureaus in India. A credit freeze prevents creditors from accessing your credit report without your permission. This can help prevent identity thieves from opening new accounts in your name.
Contact your creditors and banks: Let your creditors and banks know that you have been a victim of identity theft. They will be able to cancel any fraudulent accounts and monitor your accounts for suspicious activity.
Review your credit reports: Get your credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus in India at least once a year. Review your reports for any unauthorised accounts or charges.
Dispute any unauthorised accounts or charges: If you find any unauthorized accounts or charges on your credit reports, dispute them with the credit bureaus. The credit bureaus will investigate the dispute and remove any fraudulent accounts or charges from your credit report.
Monitor your credit reports for the next several years: Identity thieves may continue to use your information for months or even years after the initial theft. Monitor your credit reports for any new unauthorized accounts or charges.
Here are some tips to help you protect your financial information from identity theft:
Be careful about what information you share online. Do not share your PAN card number, Aadhaar number, bank account number, or credit card number with anyone you do not know and trust.
Create strong passwords. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols to create strong passwords for your online accounts.
Adhil Shetty, CEO, BankBazaar says, “No bank or financial institution will ask you to disclose your login information, card CVV number or one-time passwords in any circumstance. Never ever disclose sensitive data through any other channel than the one explicitly meant for the use of that information. In case of phishing attempts, report to your bank to allow them to investigate the matter.”
Keep your software up to date. Software updates often include security patches that can help protect your computer from malware.
Be careful about what emails you open. Do not open emails from senders you do not know. If you do open an email, do not click on any links or download any attachments.
Shred sensitive documents. Shred any documents that contain your personal information before you throw them away.
By following these tips, you can help protect your financial information from identity theft. It is also important to know that your financial information is the key to protecting your investments and savings. If you tend to ignore identity theft, it may cause a bigger financial fraud to you.