Cyberattacks will remain rampant as long as people fail to implement sufficient security tools. Hackers prey on the numerous exposures and, as a high net worth individual, access to your personal data is an appealing incentive.
When it happens to you, it’s critical to act quickly, but how can you react if you don’t know if you’ve been hacked? Here are some signs:
- Unexplained withdrawals made from your bank account
- Bills and other mail that aren’t delivered
- Merchants refusing your checks
- Debt collectors calling about debts that aren’t accurate
- Unfamiliar accounts or charges that appear on your credit report
- Medical providers billing for services that weren’t performed
- Your health plan rejecting a legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit
- The IRS sending a notice that more than one tax return was filed in someone’s name, or that there is income from an employer you don’t work for
- Receiving a notice that information was compromised by a data breach at a company you’re not associated with
- Being arrested for a crime someone else allegedly committed
- Receiving an extortion or blackmail threat
It’s reasonable to feel overwhelmed when you learn that your sensitive information has been compromised. This checklist can guide you depending on the violation:
- Closely monitor ATM and debit cards. Immediately report any unauthorized withdrawal or purchase. Federal law limits liability for an unauthorized electronic transfer of funds resulting from identity theft.
- Report stolen checks immediately. Avoid responsibility for a loss by contacting your bank if you notice stolen checks.
- Act quickly if you notice fraudulent credit card charges. Credit card companies expect you to monitor your statements and to contact them about discrepancies.
- Respond to a false bankruptcy filing. Contact the U.S. Trustee in the region where the bankruptcy was filed to inquire about investigation and prosecution.
- Contact the appropriate parties if you notice identity theft in your investment accounts. Contact the broker, account manager, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about tampering in your investments or brokerage accounts.
- Stop collection action on fraudulent accounts. Contact the debt collector, the business that opened the fraudulent account, and the credit reporting companies about fraudulent activity.
- Respond to Social Security number theft. If someone steals your Social Security number, they can sell it or use it to obtain a job, so contact the U.S. Social Security Administration.
- Examine your income taxes. Contact the IRS immediately if you believe someone has misused your Social Security number to get a tax refund.
- Scrutinize your medical records if you suspect medical identity theft. Under federal law you’re permitted to access everything in your medical files, so contact any medical institution where a thief could have stolen your information.
- Contact credit reporting companies if you suspect child identity theft. Thieves target children by using their personal information to commit fraud, so request your child’s credit report if you notice any red flags.
Be vigilant about keeping yourself safe from identity theft, and take appropriate and immediate action following the crime. Staying one step ahead of identity theft and responding swiftly is key to protecting your sensitive data and assets. Contact a HUB specialist to learn more.