If your information was stolen in an online data breach or some other identity theft, your road to recovery will likely be a long one. Even if you avoid paying for any fraudulent charges, there can still be costly side effects. Keep reading to learn more about what to do if your identity is stolen.
How Do You Know if Your Identity Has Been Stolen?
There are a few different ways you might learn about identity theft.
- You might find unauthorized charges on your credit card or in your bank account.
- You might find new accounts opened in your name that you never applied for.
- You may be notified that your information was compromised in a data breach. Even if nothing has happened yet, this means you’re more at risk of future identity theft.
Should You File a Police Report?
Always file a police report following identity theft. Unfortunately, the police likely won’t be able to do anything as identity thieves are often overseas, and local police departments often don’t have the resources to track even nearby identity thieves. However, a police report is an important legal document. It’s usually a crime to file a false report, so banks will be more likely to believe you when you say it wasn’t you who spent your money. For that reason, a police report is often a required part of the claims process.
How Long Do You Have to Report Identity Theft?
Your protection against identity theft varies based on how quickly you report it. Most banks include time limits to file a report to receive fraud protection. For example, to receive zero liability protection, you may need to report it when you receive your bank statement. Check with your bank for specific deadlines.
Of course, it’s in your best interest to report identity theft as soon as possible. It’s easier to not have to fight to get your money back than it is to rely on fraud protection.
Do You Get All of Your Money Back After Identity Theft?
Your bank’s fraud protections may cover unauthorized transactions, but that’s not the only cost of identity theft. Think about what would happen if you were about to move to a new city for a new job and needed to find an apartment while your credit score was destroyed by identity theft. Even if you can later get your credit score back up, you may end up paying more to find housing while that process plays out. You may also need to hire a lawyer, pay for credit monitoring services, or have other related expenses.
Bank fraud protection typically doesn’t cover these extra costs. To be covered, you’d need identity theft insurance.
Where Do You Get Identity Theft Insurance?
Identity theft insurance is available from many insurance companies and helps cover the costs associated with identity theft. To learn more about ID theft coverage and how it protects you, give us a call today.