Identity Theft and the Recovery Process
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What can I do to feel better when I've been a victim of identity theft?
How does identity theft affect people? The emotional effects of identity theft are a 'roller coaster ride,' that few people are prepared for. Identity theft fraud can be devastating, especially since the legal system is sometimes at a loss when dealing with the crime. Even after you clean up the nightmare of phone calls and paperwork and you discover there is no financial identity theft liability, there may be lingering side effects. Be sure you take measures to protect your identity in the future, and listen to this advice:
- You are not alone if you feel embarrassed. Nobody deserves to be a victim of identity theft.
- Keep a journal and calendar of 'things to do' to stay organized during this troubling time.
- Be assertive. It will help you feel proactive and positive.
- Use your experience to help other victims and increase public awareness.
- Remember that identity theft restoration can be a stressful process. Identity theft causes similar emotional reactions to those caused by violent crimes and can range from mild to severe.
- Identity theft is often perpetrated by someone you know. You will be angry - let the authorities handle it.
- Don't be afraid to talk about your feelings - seek professional help if you feel you need it.