It’s difficult to predict how long the effects of identity theft may linger. That’s because it depends on many factors, including:
- the type of theft
- whether the thief sold or passed your information on to other thieves
- whether the thief is caught, and
- problems related to correcting your credit report.
Victims of identity theft should monitor financial records for several months after they discover the crime. Victims should review their credit reports once every 3 months in the first year of the theft, and once a year thereafter. Stay alert for other signs of identity theft.
Don’t delay in correcting your records and contacting all companies that opened fraudulent accounts. Make the initial contact by phone, even though you will normally need to follow up in writing. The longer the inaccurate information goes uncorrected, the longer it will take to resolve the problem.
What can you do to help fight identity theft?
Requesting Credit Bureaus to place a Fraud Alert
Putting a fraud alert on you credit file is one of the first things you should do if you suspect someone is trying to open credit accounts in your name. It might be something you want to do, even if you don’t think identity theft is an immediate threat.