Divorce is one of the most stressful events in anyone’s life. Financial stress added to the emotional stress of a divorce can blindside many to the dangers of identity theft. A person going through divorce proceedings has to provide their personal information including bank accounts and social security number to the courts, which makes it easier for a criminal to access your information. Identity theft in general is also becoming more common as well as more costly to the individual.
Criminals creating new accounts with your identity is a far more common occurrence now than criminals using your existing accounts to make purchases, since new accounts are not monitored as extensively by credit card companies. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. Following these steps during and after a divorce can significantly reduce the chances of having your identity potentially damaged.
Freezing your credit is often time consuming and very inconvenient, so if you don’t want to freeze your credit you can purchase identity protection from a service like Lifelock. Unlike credit card companies, identity protection companies monitor the creation of new credit accounts and send out a fraud alert if any suspicious activity takes place. CNN.com reports that consumers that have an identity theft encounter will see issues long down the road, especially when applying for credit. Getting this protection is an effective solution for anyone worried about having their identity stolen.
Close Joint Accounts
One of the first things you should do when getting a divorce is close all of the joint accounts held by you and your spouse. Doing this seems like a no-brainer but is often overlooked as the person’s attention can be focused elsewhere during a divorce. Closing your joint accounts will prevent a spouse from using your checking account and other accounts to make purchases.
Hire a Lawyer
Getting a lawyer to handle your divorce proceedings is a sensible way to ensure your rights will be met legally throughout the divorce proceedings. A lawyer will fight for your rights and make sure you are not treated unfairly by a spouse. Having a lawyer on your side will reduce the risk of having your assets or identity taken away from you.
Monitor Your Credit Reports
By constantly checking your credit report, you can see if anyone is creating new accounts in your name. Home Loan Basics suggests regularly checking your credit scores to keep possible tampering at bay. You should be looking at any financial actions that you aren’t familiar with. By catching these early you can get in contact with the authorities to stop further infringements.
Divorce is more than just calling it quits. With a lot of moving parts, and the additional worry of having your identity compromised, this unwanted event can be more stressful than it has to be. Staying in the know of all possible worries can help to reduce the burden divorce provides.
With so much technology out there it’s great to have as much information about a specific company or product as possible. Take a look at this informational video from LifeLock!
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