Wednesday, 27 March 2013

How Identity Theft Can Damage Your Credit

A poor credit score can have a negative impact on you in a number of ways. You could have a hard time getting a new job, getting a loan or convincing a potential landlord to let you live in the unit they have. There are a number of factors that can harm your credit card.

One of the threats people don’t think enough about is identity theft. You need know if your identity is stolen and take the necessary steps to reverse the damage they have done.

There are a number of ways fraudsters can damage your credit when they steal your identity. Here are some factors you need to be aware of.

They Increase Existing Credit

Most identity thieves use your existing lines of credit to make purchases. Of course, they aren’t going to be nice enough to pay your bills for you. You may be unable to make your payments when they have gone on a shopping spree with your credit card numbers.

Opening Up New Lines of Credit

Some people also take out new lines of credit in their victims’ names. This can damage your credit much more for two reasons. First of all, your credit will drop slightly the moment they open up a new account in your name. Secondly, you probably won’t even know about these new lines of credit right away. You won’t be able to make the payments on an account you didn’t know existed, which can obliterate your credit.

Collections on Delinquent Accounts

Identity thieves can receive medical care, make phone calls and do any number of other things under your name. The companies providing these services may decide to call a collection agency when the bills aren’t paid.

Preventing the Damage of Identity Theft

You can mitigate the damages a criminal creates for you when they steal your identity. Here are some factors you need to be aware of:

  • You need to be aware of identity theft before you can take corrective measures. Check your credit reports on a regular basis. Make sure that you report anything suspicious to the proper agencies so that you aren’t liable for damages.
  • Check your credit card statements and bank accounts as well. The United States has a law that requires people to report fraudulent purchases within 60 days before they are liable of the charges. I am not familiar with the laws in other countries, but I expect they are similar. Make sure that you track your accounts carefully.
  • Get a police report after reporting the fraud. This will add credibility to your case and you creditors will be more likely to believe you. You will also want to report it to the credit bureaus so they can know to fix your credit score.

Millions of people fall victim to identity theft every year. Make sure that you identity it early on so that you can save your credit. The damage will be more severe if you don’t address it early on. 

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