The Internet has revolutionized the way financial services are rendered. The accessibility of online payday loans allows borrowers to secure funds in a matter of hours. However, identity theft has emerged as an unwanted byproduct of this convenience. Despite incessant enhancement of security measures, the problem still exists. What can you do to safeguard your data against sneaky fraudsters?
Online fraud may target anyone – even Americans who have never borrowed money. With a payday loan, fraud is insidious, as it may take weeks before suspicious activity is noticed – until fees start mounting. This makes a quick solution unlikely. Naturally, lenders will want their money back, and they may not show much sympathy. In any case, it is wiser to take preventive measures than waste several years in nerve-racking legal battles. Here are three basic steps to protect your data online:
- create better passwords and do not email them under any circumstances;
- protect your computer with anti-virus software and encrypt sensitive information;
- burn or shred sensitive paper documents.
By gaining access to personal data, fraudsters may complete a loan agreement online and access the funds landing in the victim’s account, whilst remaining unnoticed. Here, expediency is a double-edged sword. Although US states limit payday loan amounts, the incurred interest and penalties for missed payments may haunt you for quite a while. Fraudsters may continue using your details to secure several loans, adding fuel to the fire.
Once you become aware of suspicious transactions, immediately report to your local police department. As a rule, a detective will be assigned to investigate, and the local prosecutor will later be sent a report. A police report is essential to clear the victim’s name and have credit reports corrected. It is what most creditors require from a victim to remove their name from fraudulently obtained debts, and even when they find no fraud, credit bureaus may still conduct their own checks. Phone calls alone do not suffice. Send the credit bureaus a formal written dispute under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and provide a copy to the creditor. You need to include an identity theft report, which comprises a police report and an identity theft affidavit. It is always best to hire a qualified attorney to guide you through the necessary steps and structure your evidence.
It is always wise to protect sensitive data, which reduces the chances of you falling victim to identity theft. However, when precautions fail, there are clear steps you can take to clear your name and repair your credit record. This takes time and patience, but the law is always on your side.