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How to recover from identity theft

So, how can you recover from identity theft and minimize the psychological impact? 

1. Contact the fraud departments of the affected accounts

Once fraud is discovered and it is clear your identity was stolen, you must report the fraud. Speak to the fraud departments at the banks and credit card companies affected. If the scam was car finance or some other type of finance, speak to them too.

You should also record the theft with your local police force. All these things should be done within a day of discovering the fraud.

2. Check your statements and records

You need to know everything about your financial activity for the duration (and some time before) the fraud. This means checking your statements and financial records in depth. Request statements that haven’t been sent to you, too.

Try to cover everything, from banks, loan companies, and credit cards to online stores, PayPal accounts, and everything.

Google Maps

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3. Detail your movements during the period of fraud

When it becomes apparent when the fraud took place, you must take steps to record your activities to prove that you weren’t spending the money. While fraud is common, it is sadly still important that victims prove their innocence. 

Use Google Maps to trace your activities. For example, find old receipts to prove where you were, perhaps your employer’s clock-in data to show you were at work when a loan was taken out in a bank branch.

4. Get legal advice from a specialist in identity theft

Contacting a lawyer with as much supporting data as possible is wise. Legal advice is essential at this stage, as your bank will be interested in you as part of its fraud investigation.

However, don’t just call the usual family lawyer. Instead, find someone who is versed in the issues of identity theft and subsequent fraud. They will be able to deal with your bank and any federal contact, helping reduce personal stress. 

5. Contact the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC)

Free help is available from the