Tips To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
Tips to protect against identity theft fraud
Identity theft may be a faceless crime, but that doesn’t mean it’s a victimless crime. By the time you become aware that your identity was stolen, the damage to your credit score is already done. Not only will you find yourself responsible for credit card charges you didn’t make, but you may also have difficulty obtaining mortgages, car loans, and other financing. An identity theft lawyer can help you take legal action to resolve the crimes committed against you. To reduce your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft, follow the tips below:
Protect Your PIN
Never write your personal identification number (PIN) on a credit/debit card or on a slip of paper kept in your wallet. When entering your PIN at an ATM or pay phone, use your free hand to shield the keypad to prevent “shoulder surfers” from obtaining your PIN.
Keep Your Receipts
Get in the habit of keeping receipts for all purchases made with your credit or debit card. Ask for incorrect charge slips as well. Promptly compare these receipts with billing and account statements each month. If you notice unauthorized or incorrect transactions, contact your bank or credit company right away to report fraudulent activity on your account. If your bank or credit provider refuses to remove the charges, contact a Leesburg fraud attorney to seek restitution.
Be Careful Online
Be extra cautious when shopping online, especially if you are using a public computer or purchasing from an unfamiliar website. Also be on the lookout for phishing emails and websites, which attempt to solicit personal information that can be used to steal your identity.
Monitor Your Credit Report
Check your credit report once per year and look for any errors or unauthorized purchases made in the past 12 months. If you suspect someone has gotten access to your account information, check your credit report more frequently. You may need to hire a consumer protection law firm to oversee your credit report dispute and restore your credit score following identity theft.
The state of Virginia offers a downloadable guide called “How to Avoid Identity Theft.”.
It includes a list of public resources, an ID Theft Affidavit form, and other identity theft help in Alexandria. Here are some of the useful tips this guide gives Virginia citizens to protect against identity theft:
- Check your online accounts regularly for any suspicious activity
- Keep separate passwords for each online account
- Monitor your credit report for fraudulent activity
- Never disclose financial or personal information in response to an unsolicited email regardless of who sent it
- Never click on a link embedded in an unsolicited email regardless of who sent it
- Verify the authenticity of a website before entering financial or personal information via that website by checking the VeriSign or other certificates of authority
- Install a locked mailbox at your residence to reduce mail theft
- Shred credit card and loan mail before putting it in the trash
- Never put social security, driver license, or credit card numbers on your checks
- Reduce the credit cards you carry to the bare minimum
- Never give personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call
Leveraging powerful identity theft laws
At Blankingship & Christiano, P.C., we have skilled identity theft attorneys ready to combat identity theft fraud in Alexandria and provide the legal help you need. While you can dispute a fraudulent charge yourself, you would be well-advised to retain a skilled identity theft lawyer that can assist you with identity theft in Fairfax to ensure corrections are made in a timely manner to your credit file.
Our attorneys are knowledgeable about identity theft laws, and do not hesitate to take aggressive legal action such as litigation when required. We can advise you of your rights and options under federal and state identity theft law in Reston and Fairfax identity theft.
Contact us for identity theft help
If you are looking for a qualified Alexandria identity theft law firm, please contact Blankingship & Christiano, P.C. at (571) 313-0412 or online to discuss your case.