What To Do If You’re A Victim of Identity Theft
The immediate steps a victim should take to limit the damage caused by an identity thief.
NARRATOR: What to do if you are a victim of identity theft?
If your identity’s been stolen, the FTC is the right place to learn how to set things straight. Here are 3 steps to take.
First, call one of the nationwide credit reporting companies. Ask them to put a fraud alert on your credit report. This means businesses must confirm that you are you before they extend credit in your name.
The alert is a roadblock in the path of an identity thief—and it’s just one phone call away.
Second, order free copies of your credit report from each of the nationwide credit reporting companies.
Third, complete the complaint form at ftc.gov/complaint.This creates an identity theft affidavit, which helps you file a police report.
Keep records of your calls and copies of your documents. You’ll use them later on.
For more tips and tools on dealing with identity theft, visit ftc.gov/idtheft. That’s ftc.gov slash ID Theft.
If you had only a few moments to evacuate your home and could not return for several days or even weeks, would you have access to cash, banking services and the personal identification you need to conduct your day-to-day financial life?
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) offers these tips to make sure you’re financially prepared if disaster strikes:
- Periodically review your insurance coverage to make sure you know what is or isn’t covered.
- Keep copies of your ATM/debit cards in an emergency kit in case you can’t access your actual cards.
- Keep your bank account numbers in a safe place that you can access.
- Consider keeping some cash on hand in your emergency kit.
- Have easy access to phone numbers for financial institutions.
To get more tips on how to make sure you’re financial prepared if there’s a disaster, download and order your free copies of Protecting Your Finances if a Disaster Strikes: Are You Prepared?
If you’re planning for college, learn more about financial aid and find out how the government can help.
Image description: Erin Wilson, a NASA engineer, adds aluminum tape to electrical cables to protect them from the cold during environmental testing of special optical equipment. These tests will verify the alignment of flight instruments that will fly aboard NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.
Photo by Chris Gunn, NASA
The Lifeline program helps low-income households get telephone service by providing discounts up to $10.00 a month on one basic monthly phone service (landline or wireless).
Currently, more than 17 million households are subscribed to Lifeline. In order to enroll in Lifeline, potential subscribers must demonstrate their eligibility by showing proof of income or participation in a qualifying program.
The Lifeline program is paid for by the Universal Service Fund (USF). According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), “All telecommunications service providers and certain other providers of telecommunications must contribute to the federal USF based on a percentage of their end-user telecommunications revenues. These companies include wireline telephone companies, wireless telephone companies, and certain Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers.”
Some consumers may notice a “Universal Service” line item on their telephone bills. This line item appears when a company chooses to recover its USF contributions directly from its customers by billing them this charge. The FCC does not require this charge to be passed on to customers. Each company makes a business decision about whether and how to assess charges to recover its Universal Service costs.
Learn more about the Lifeline program and see if you’re eligible.