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When your identity is stolen – What do you do?

Recently I experienced a great loss. I wasn’t smart and I left my purse and the contents of my life in a friend’s car. What do you hate to accept? You were lazy, didn’t wanna bring it, didn’t think otherwise, and yes that your purse is stolen. My purse was stolen!

Having a day planner is a necessity for some which can be an immediate ‘red flag’. I carried mine in my purse and I go everywhere. It had ¬†information written down that ‘I would never lose’. I used that thing religiously for bills, important ‘to do’ items, resolutions, balances, entertainment schedules, etc.

When it comes to sunglasses/glasses they can be replaced, a cellphone can also be replaced, pens/pencils can be replaced, and even a set of keys can be replaced. The information that is in a wallet or day planner cannot be replaced – as easily.

  • The money, gone.
  • Credit cards, gone.
  • ID or Driver’s license (maybe even both), gone.
  • Social security card, gone.
  • Checks, gone.
  • Proprietary information, gone.

Everyone knows not to leave ANYTHING VALUABLE inside a car. Also never take anything important with you like your social security card or birth certificate. I’ve heard of some say to leave your credit cards at home to ensure this doesn’t happen to you. What about the ‘responsible’ people like myself? What if you’re traveling. It’s important to make the best judgement. It’s also very important that you are aware of where you are leaving important items, like your purse.

ID theft is a crime but it doesn’t stop someone from the ‘smash and grab’, you have to be more careful!

What do you do first when your identity is stolen? Do you call your banks to cancel your accounts? Do you call the police? What exactly happens when you’re ID is stolen? Those are all great questions and honestly you could never know until years later that you have been a victim of ID theft.

I have been stressing the importance of paying for a ‘monitoring service’. When something like this happens to you, you are really going to wanna know how to properly handle the situation. The first couple days are crucial so you need to have a plan and you need to act quick!

The steps I took to prepare:

  • Contacted the police for a case #
  • Contacted my financial institutions
  • Change passwords to ALL accounts
  • Contact credit monitor
  • Place a fraud alert on my account
  • Obtain new cards from financial institutions
  • Contact my landlord (keys stolen) replace locks

Having a credit monitoring service to help you watch for fraud is dire at a time like this! If I did not have a monitoring service to help track fraud on my identity; I would feel rather uncomfortable. I feel safer now knowing that although my information has been jeopardized I am still okay to carry on my daily routine as I would if I hadn’t had my purse stolen. Of course it will take time to get back together once you’ve been victimized but it is not impossible to protect yourself in the future.

‘The price of greatness is responsibility.’ – Winston Churchill

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