Men in uniforms saluting

When you signed up to be a member of the United States Armed Forces, you made a commitment to protect the safety of the nation. However, you may be dismayed that no one is prioritizing the safety of your identity. Because of this, you may find you’re a victim of identity theft. However, there are steps you can take to mitigate damages while you’re serving, such as setting up military active duty alerts. Additionally, you may find that a San Diego County identity theft lawyer can help you navigate these complex matters if you’ve been a victim.

Why Are Those in the Military Vulnerable to Identity Theft?

Unfortunately, military members are one of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to identity theft. This is because service members are often away for long periods, meaning they do not have access to their bank statements or credit reports to check frequently for fraud. This can leave them vulnerable to prolonged theft.

Additionally, they may be re-stationed often, meaning they can miss signs of fraud in the constant stress of moving around the country and potentially overseas.

Finally, when someone joins the military, they must provide the government with a significant amount of personal information, which is stored in databases. Though it’s not common, data breaches can happen, putting their information at risk. If someone gets into the database, they can take the information and sell it on the dark web for others to purchase and use.

What Do Military Active Duty Alerts Do?

One way to minimize damage is to set up military active duty alerts. These are similar to fraud alerts you may place on your credit report. They can make it more challenging to open accounts in your name. Essentially, if someone tries to take out a loan or open a line of credit in your name, the lender must take an additional step to verify your identity. Generally, this means they must call you to confirm that you wish to open the account before doing so.

These alerts are free and will last for one year from when you place them on your account. To put these on your account, you must contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion). Once you inform one of these bureaus, they will tell the other two, who will subsequently place the alert on your account.

Unfortunately, if you are the victim of identity theft, it can have a significant impact on your life. As such, it’s essential to understand what you must do in these circumstances. It’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney from Barthel Legal as soon as possible. Our dedicated legal team will do everything we can to help you recover your identity with as little stress as possible. Contact us today to learn more.