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Taking action after identity theft

Identity fraud and identity theft are rapidly becoming two of the most common types of fraud. Over the years, they have become increasingly prevalent because of the increased reliance we have on digital banking and digital payments.

It is difficult to fully protect yourself from identity theft; however, your bank should have certain protections in place to make sure that you recoup the finances that you lost due to the crime.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is the act of a person stealing personal information from another, and using this for unlawful purposes, usually by stealing money. Most often, this theft of identity occurs online, but it can also be achieved through stolen mail or lost wallets, purses and credits cards. This is why it is especially important to report your credit card as missing as soon as you notice that you have lost it.

What can I do about identity theft?

Although there is not very much that one person can do about identity theft on his or her own, it is important to know that there are some very big forces operating against identity theft in the United States. These include operations and prosecutions that are led by the Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Your bank will also support you in helping you to prevent identity theft from occurring, and in investigating the crime.

If you have been a victim of identity theft, you should first speak to your bank to see what can be done. It is also a good idea to look into your legal rights, especially if you do not think that your bank is being compliant.

Source: FindLaw, "Identity Theft," accessed April 13, 2018

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