With the recent news of Equifax’s data breach where at least 143 million Americans’  personal data  has been breached and has likely already been sold and distributed to identity thieves, it makes sense to protect yourself from identity theft as much as possible.

Identity theft is not going away – it’s too easy and profitable for criminals to commit.

It also sadly seems that police, prosecutors and even the credit issuing companies themselves are content to simply write off the losses rather than pursue the criminals.  This is especially the case when your identity is used outside your own city and state of residence.

Getting a free credit reports from one of each of the big three credit companies every 4 months at AnnualCreditReport.com helps you keep an eye on your credit.   It’s free and it takes very little time to get your credit report and check it for both inaccuracies which can happen, and for malicious activities.

Should you notice anything wrong, acting on it immediately can help repair or at least reduce the damage.

If you see someone has stolen your identity and opened up a credit account in your name you need to move fast. Quickly alerting the credit agencies to place a fraud alert on your credit report, and filing a police report with your local agency are good first steps.

If you be threatened with a lawsuit by a creditor seeking repayment of the account that was obtained fraudulently in your name, and this does happen in some cases, it’s time to get an attorney to deal with the problem.  Don’t be stuck with a fraudulent charge – ignoring the situation will not help and can make it difficult to resolve later.