Ask - Should I use an Identity Recovery Service?

There is plenty of help available if you have had your identity stolen.
Updated 4 January 2022
Ask - Should I use an Identity Recovery Service?


Recently my mother had her phone account taken over by scammers. The scammers tried to withdraw money from her bank account but thankfully it was picked up by her bank. I am worried that they have her personal details and they may try to access other accounts. I don't know where to start. What services are available to help with recovering your identity?

Many people are ill-unprepared to deal with identity theft but the good news is there are some great support resources available and many of the relevant organisations have dedicated identity theft teams to help you out.

You have two main options to deal with identity recovery, a self-serve option or if you need more assistance a concierge type service might be right for you.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a self-serve website designed to help your report and guide you through the recovery process. By filling in responses to questions about your situation it creates a personalised recovery plan as well as pre-filled letters to send to financial institutions, credit bureaus and businesses if accounts have been used fraudulently.

If the self-service option seems too overwhelming for your mother and she wants some extra help, there are services available that provide an expert than can assist you on the phone. If you have subscribed to an ID protection service like Norton LifeLock, Identity Guard or Identity Force you may already have access to personal recovery experts so you should check the details of your plan. If not, some providers allow for pre-existing conditions, which means that they will help you if you have already had your identity stolen. All of these premium services do come at a cost which is normally a monthly subscription fee.

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