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If you are the victim of credit identity theft, the first step is to report the crime to the police and notify the credit bureaus, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), your creditors, and your bank. Chances are, you will be spending time making phone calls, setting up new accounts - and mailing letters, police reports, and affidavits. After you've followed all the identity theft repair tips to straighten out the financial mess, the next step is to figure out how your identity was stolen and how to regain your privacy. Was it over the Internet? Did your wallet get stolen? Did you answer a survey that may have been a scam? Did you have enough identity theft protection?
Regardless of how it happened, someone took advantage of your personal information, making you the victim of the fastest growing crime in the United States. The cost of identity theft is not only financial, but emotional. Identity theft victims suffer the same types of emotional hardships as do victims of violent crimes. Dread, anger, embarrassment, feelings of helplessness, and disbelief can accompany the financial mess you've been thrown into. The third step in identity theft recovery is dealing with the emotional impact of being a victim. Be patient, recognize your emotions, and know that your reaction to this traumatic circumstance is normal.