What Should be Done in Case Your Financial Information is Stolen?

According to a detailed report of the Insurance Information Institute, financial fraud and identity theft, have cost more than $16 billion in the year 2016. Furthermore, more than 15 million people were the victims of financial crimes.

The report also indicates that these crimes are rising every year. As compared to 2015, nearly $1 billion have added to the related financial losses in 2016. Therefore, one should remain attentive regarding his/her financial information. In this article, we will discuss what should be done following the theft or in case of an anomaly with your financial information.

Do You Have Inaccurate Information on Your Credit Report?

Finding anomalies on your credit report is a reason for concern. If you encounter an error, you should immediately contact the three official credit bureaus and report the error. We have listed them along with their contact information below:

- www.equifax.com
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian - www.experian.com
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013-0949
1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)

TransUnion - www.transunion.com
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022

Note: In September 2017, there was a major data breach on Equifax. It was estimated that as many as 44 million people had their data stolen. This is why it is more essential than ever to maintain vigilance about your financial situation and to check with all third parties that have your personal information to ensure that information wasn’t compromised.  

There are two common mistakes on credit reports that require your immediate diligence, should you find them listed:

  • If the account is still showing as open that you have closed earlier or the other way around

Usually, this happens as a result of a systematic glitch and will be rectified immediately.

  • The more alarming situation is where you recognize an account operating under your name that you never opened

There are two possibilities in this case; either there is an administrative mistake from credit bureau’s side or else your financial identity has been compromised.

In general, these mistakes can be corrected by the credit bureau and you won’t need a lawyer to resolve the issue. However, you will need to hire a lawyer if things go south and the financial institute decides to challenge your claim of identity theft and follows through with litigation proceedings. Most of the time this will not be the case, as it is very expensive for the financial institutions to pursue this path. Usually, a compromise or agreement to refund your money will take place.

In case of an unauthorized account that has been opened in your name, then you should report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission. It may help in resolving the issue with the banks. It would also be highly recommended to collect all the documentation related to the identity theft so that you have a valid case and that your case against the identity thieves will be as strong as it can be.

Theft of Banking Cards and Details

Debit Card

If your Debit card is stolen then you should immediately report it to the respective bank before the thief can abuse its use. The recovery of funds in case of stolen debit card is a more convoluted process especially if someone has taken out the money from your account.  

Credit card

There is less liability on you in case your credit card is stolen since it is easier for banking institutions to trace the fraudulent transactions.

In both of the cases, immediate reporting to the banks is imperative. You must provide them with exact details of what happened. In both fraudulent cases, you will be issued a new card and number.

In Case of a Compromised Bank Account

There is a more serious case of compromised financial identity theft in which instead of banking card your bank account is compromised through bank account number and routing number. If money is transferred directly out of the account, then you must immediately contact your bank or better to go in person to resolve the issue.

After sufficient checks from their side, they will reissue you with new banking credentials including new username, password, account number and routing number. To prevent the losses of funds from your bank account, it is necessary to know about the systems that can save you from the financial losses.

In case of any transaction that has been made using account number and routing number, you have the option to report it to

Automated Clearing House (ACH) Transactions

Most of the fraudsters rip you off through unauthorized ACHs. ACH is a permission granted to institutions and individuals to debit directly from your account to make payments. To prevent this type of financial crime to happen in the first place, you can enable the services of ACH debit block and ACH debit filter. ACH debit block will not allow any transactions from your accounts while debit filter will only allow the authorized transactions to go through.

Reimbursement of funds in case of a compromised bank account can take one day to few weeks depending on the bank.

In any case of the stolen of financial information, you must have a quick and intelligent response so that you will get your hard-earned money back quickly.