What To Do When You’re a Victim of Theft
Perhaps you received a present for your birthday or another special occasion. Perhaps it was a shiny new tablet or smart phone. Happiness, puppies, kitties and rainbow sprinkles all around!
But wait. Some dastardly miscreant has stolen your technobaby! Your life is now a Tennessee Williams play. So sad. All hope is not lost, however. Some good can be saved out of this nasty bog of misery and despair.
First, if your phone was taken, (get a friend to) call a person with a special set of skills. You know who I mean. No, not him. I really mean the “find me” software you can set up on your phone.
With this service, you can locate, lock and even delete information on your device. If you have the “find me” service set up on your tablet or smart phone, use it. If you can lock the device, do so. You may also consider using the delete or factory reset function of the “find me” service. If you haven’t heard about this “find me” service, call a tech-savvy friend or your university help desk and they can give you some guidance.
Change Your Passwords
Now, change any passwords on accounts that you use for work or for your bank or credit card accounts. Typically, smart phones and tablets store your account passwords for convenience. Unfortunately, this makes it easier for someone to log into those accounts and potentially make a bunch of fraudulent charges. So, make sure to change those account passwords immediately.
The accounts you might want to consider changing next are those where you use your credit cards or online banking accounts for online purchases, such as Amazon, eBay or iTunes. Also change the access to any of your online password storage accounts like LastPass or Dashlane.
Make Some Calls
Right after that, call your credit card company to report your account might have been compromised. Each company is a bit different, but they will have procedures to help. You can also contact one of the three national credit reporting companies and tell them you think you have been a victim of identity theft and ask for a fraud alert to be placed on your credit report. It’s free.
If one of your accounts has fraudulent charges, you can contact the fraud and abuse center for that account (eBay, Amazon, etc.). They can help you with the actions you need to take and the information you need to gather to deal with the fraudulent charges. The primary place to go to take care of fraudulent charges is still your credit card company, but these folks can help as well.
Consider Your ASU Account
Next, call the ASU Technology Support Center. We can watch your ASU account and email for potential fraud or misuse. In addition, we can prevent your device from using your university email account.
File a Police Report
Holy sirens and flashing lights, Batman! Report the theft to your local law enforcement. This might not result in the recovery of your device, but the police can provide a copy of the report in the event you need it for insurance purposes.
Finally, take a look at the FTC website for more information about what to do in case of identity theft.