With new technologies entering the market at a breakneck pace, there are not only more and more ways to stay in touch with friends and loved ones, but online criminals have greater opportunities to commit identity theft. When this happens, you risk not just having to deal with the inconvenience and annoyance of having to reclaim your internet identity, but you also face potential financial ruin and even a threat to your personal safety.
If this cybercrime happens to you – and the odds are sadly not in your favor that you won’t come face to face with some form of identity fraud – here are some of the first calls you should make to contend with it.
- Contact local law enforcement – Often, identity theft can be a multi-jurisdictional crime that will require the help of several different precincts. Even so, your local police force are obligated to help you out by taking a formal report and contacting other appropriate agencies.
- Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) – This agency will evaluate your report of identity theft and contact the appropriate law enforcement or regulatory agency- on a local, federal and even international level – that can help you solve the crime.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – While this agency won’t be able to help you solve your individual complaint about identity theft, it does operate the Consumer Sentinel. This is an online database used by authorities the world over to aid in investigations by detecting patterns and trends. If your theft fits the description of numerous others, this tool may be able to help you get one stop closer to justice.
Municipalities throughout the country have their own victim service providers that can aid victims of identity theft by providing emotional support, information on the crime and even advocacy if the situation calls for it.