The federal shutdown is now over, as lawmakers struck a deal that brought non-essential government workers back to their jobs and even avoided the looming potential for another debt ceiling impasse for the time being. However, some experts now fear that the time off may have opened up consumers for being victimized by certain types of identity theft, which can cripple their finances and credit scores alike.
The primary reason for this is that government services the National Do Not Call Registry and agencies like the Federal Trade Commission were all but shuttered, denying people who thought they might have been victimized by identity theft potential protections or tools that might have served to insulate them from possible issues, according to a report from CNN. Without the ability to sign up for Do Not Call, for example, consumers may be bothered by telemarketers who may be offering services that could be problematic for identity theft victims. The lack of access to the FTC's website could likewise keep people from finding out important information about how they should deal with the fallout of such an incident.
When you're hit with identity theft, there are a number of things you might need to do to protect yourself and your credit score. The first of these is to report the incident to all financial institutions which control the affected accounts, as well as the nation's three major credit reporting bureaus. This can help you to put a stop to identity thieves' ability to use your accounts, or your personal identifying information to open more, fraudulent lines of credit in your name. In addition, you may also want to keep a close eye on other accounts for some time just to make sure those have not also been compromised.
In addition, you should go through your monthly statements for all your accounts to ensure that there are no questionable charges you do not recognize or questionable entries on your credit reports. If in the course of checking over all the necessary documents, you find that there are indeed unfair markings on your credit reports, it might be wise to contact a credit repair law firm about the issues as soon as possible. Doing so may allow you to get the issues sorted out more quickly and easily than you might have been able to achieve on your own.