Many people have an idea about what the worst possible thing in the world to face is, but one thing that many of these scenarios have in common is feeling helpless in any way. Being a victim of identity theft is certainly going to make a person feel helpless; in fact, it's downright scary. At its core, identity theft is one person stealing the livelihood of another in some way, whether it is through a bank account, false advertising, or simply using another's individual's name and information. Identity theft has many long lasting side effects, each of these can be as damaging and disturbing as the initial theft itself.
It Takes Time to Clean Up
If preventing identity theft is not possible because it has already happened, it may take some time and effort to make things right. If bank accounts or Social Security information has been compromised, there is a set chain of events that must happen before things can go back to normal. Correspondence with police, governmental authorities, financial institutions and others can take some time to finish, meaning that the whole process may not be easily rectified. Eventually, though, things will return to normal after you've provided proof that you were not at fault and that your information was in fact misused.
Be Prepared to do a Lot of Explaining
Sadly, the burden of proof is often on the individual when it comes to identity theft. In order to prove innocence and that a theft has happened, you must remain vigilant toward your information, making sure to report changes and inconsistencies as soon as they are noticed. This will make it much less likely for large amounts of debt to be incurred, or for someone else to use your information in terrible ways, potentially ruining your reputation. Talking to the people in charge of your accounts may be frustrating, but it's important to be clear and honest when dealing with the repercussions of identity theft in order to get it taken care of as soon as possible.
It's Normal to be Cautious
Victims of identity theft are often much more cautious with the information that they give out in the aftermath of the occurrence. Unfortunately, this can make people seem very paranoid and almost overly cautious, but that's only because they know what it's like to be a victim. Victims of ID theft are less likely to enter in passwords or do online banking, and they are often much less inclined to give out their personal information to others - while this may seem silly, it can help to reduce the likelihood of further theft, and teach others some good practices.
While somewhat localized to the person that was the actual victim, these aftereffects can also impact those close to an individual. Not wanting to give out information or conduct any activities online can put a damper on organizing events or paying bills - but in many cases, it's for the best. If the people that were victims of identity theft feel more comfortable changing their routines, ultimately these changes will be for the best, and can serve as a way to keep people calm and collected after going through a very stressful situation.