Have you been a victim of Identity theft? Here’s what to do now.

27 May

As a follow on from our recent blog, Identity theft? Your Personal Information is Like Gold featured last month we take a closer look at Identity Theft and how to pick up the pieces when someone else has stolen your ‘life’! Consider this Part 2.

Identity theft is not a new concept or crime. In South Africa, ID theft is rife and needs little introduction. For those who have become a victim of identity theft, the after-effects can be traumatic.

Your ID thief might have racked up thousands of Rand in loans, credit card purchases, and opening accounts. While many financial institutions and insurance providers can help you to sort this financial mess out with a protection product, if you have no backup there are a few things that you should do to rectify the situation if your identity has been stolen.

  • Report and replace missing documents – Many criminals strike when they gain access to personal documents such as ID books (or cards), driver’s licenses, birth certificates and passports. If you have lost any of these personal documents, or they have been stolen, make sure that you report the theft/loss by opening a case with the SA Police and apply for replacements as soon as possible. This renders the old document useless and gives you a leg to stand on if an unscrupulous person uses them to open accounts and rack up bills in your name.
  • Change your logins and passwords – You should do this for all your accounts and not just the affected ones and even consider opening new accounts if your bank account has been compromised.
  • Inform credit bureaus – If you suspect someone is trying to use your particulars to open accounts etc., make sure that you report the incident to the credit bureaus. Ensure that they are aware of the identity theft so that they can be extra cautious when account applications are checked. At the same time, check that all of your details are up to date with the credit bureaus. Incorrect details could lead to someone else being able to steal your identity.
    • Recently moved address or changed your telephone number? Make sure your credit profile reflects this.
  • Scrutinise your accounts and credit card purchases – If someone has stolen your identity, they might be able to make online purchases using your details. Take a close look at your bills and dispute any purchases or withdrawals that were not actioned by you.

How to Avoid ID Theft Before it Happens | Have You Heard of True Identity?

A new ID theft solution called TrueIdentity has recently launched in South Africa, which could save many South Africans from the trauma of identity theft. This product is aimed at helping consumers protect their particulars. It also provides consumers with the tools required to deal with the consequences of identity theft and offers the benefits of ID theft insurance to help with the recovery of finances.

Members pay a monthly or annual subscription for this product offering through TransUnion. Once registered, the service providers regularly scour the web (and the dark web) for any information or mention of member’s details and sensitive data. If anything is uncovered, you will be advised immediately and further assisted with a course of action.

TrueIdentity empowers consumers by arming them with instant access to their information and constant monitoring of their personal data.

Share Your Experiences…

Have you been a victim of identity theft? We would love to hear more about your experience and how you handled it.

Comments are closed.