What To Do If Your Identity is Stolen as a Freelance Writer
All this week I have been sharing my story about having my identity stolen as a freelance writer and the reponse has been remarkable.I have been amazed to know that not only have other people experienced identity theft but identity theft as a freelance writer much like me.
For those who have never experienced online identity theft in any capacity, the resounding question has been, what’s next? While I am still attempting to pick up the pieces of my own identity; here are just a few tips that I have learned along the way that I am helping will be valuable to you if you ever have your identity stolen both on and offline:
Go to your local police department IMMEDIATELY.
When I first found out that my identity had been stolen, I was frantic. I had no idea what to do or even where to begin; however, the wonderful team at Textbroker suggested that I go file a police report. Filing a police report will not only help investigators determine if they should pursue your case but it will also be required to have on hand if you have to change something such as your social security number.
Contact the Credit Bureaus
Yesterday, I shared the importance of monitoring your credit profiles in order to avoid having your identity stolen. Today, I echo those similar sentiments if you actually have your identity stolen. Contacting the credit bureaus(which include: Experian, Equifax and Transunion) will allow them to place a fraud alert on your account meaning every time someone(including yourself) applies for credit you will be contacted via phone or email before it can be processed.
Notify The IRS
If you’re like me and the identity theft you have suffered from has resulted in someone gaining employment under your name and social security number you may want to contact the IRS. Depending on what time of year it is (for me it was prior to tax teason) you may want to make sure this person hasn’t filed taxes under your name. Contacting the IRS will keep you from owing back taxes on a job you never had.
Notify Your Employer(s)
As a freelance writer you probably have several employers and or clients because of this you will want to make sure you notify them that you have been a victim of identity theft. This will keep the identity theft from contacting them on your behalf and asking for changes in payments, assignments or even contact methods.
Call Your Bank(s)
If you feel as if your bank account may have been compromised you may want to contact your bank to have them place a hold or an alert on your bank account as an extra layer of security. In some cases you may want to have your account number changed in order to avoid other potential problems.
While there are a whole list of things you may have to do to cover your tracks for over the next five years, this list is a great place to start.
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