What to do if your identity is stolen - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

What to do if your identity is stolen

Posted: Updated:

UNITED STATES - If your personal information gets to the hands of the wrong person there are a number of ways this can impact you. In the unfortunate case of this happening here's what to do.

"I would recommend you contact local law enforcement. There might not be anything they can do about it, but they certainly can't do anything if they don't know. Then, by all means contact your financial institutions, get ahold of your bank," said Brian Rafferty, financial advisor at Edward Jones.

Rafferty says to be careful when someone contacts you via email, phone or internet and wants personal information. He also says there are certain things you shouldn't carry with you.

"One thing I find some folks will carry around is their social security card with them in their wallet. I would recommend highly against that," said Rafferty.

The recovery road after your identity has been stolen can either be long or short.

"It depends how much has been compromised. How much information they've got. How much damage they've done to your credit or to your finances. The least damage the sooner it can be taken care of," said Rafferty.

Identity theft isn't anything new, it's been happening for years, but Rafferty says nowadays people are more vulnerable to it.

"I think it's increasing, because we are a increasingly electronic society and we are putting that information out there more readily available," said Rafferty.