Recovering from identity theft can be a time-consuming process. Exactly how long it takes depends on the type of identity theft that took place and how quickly it was discovered. The good news is that if you’re an Allstate Identity Protection member, our identity specialists are available 24/7 to assist.
If you’re facing identity theft, know that it is possible to overcome the issue — but it may take some time.
Just ask one of our identity specialists, like Vera Tolmachoff, Restoration Manager at Allstate Identity Protection.
"It can take days, months, or even years to untangle identity theft," says Tolmachoff.
This is because each case of identity theft is unique, and the recovery timeline can depend on many factors, including the type of identity theft that took place. While some reports have found that combating identity theft can take up to 200 hours over six months, this number can vary.
Fortunately, if your identity has already been compromised, there are three key factors that can help determine how long the path to recovery might take.
How was your personal data used?
A big part of recovering from identity theft is determining how the stolen data was used. Here are some critical questions to answer:
Was an identity thief able to successfully open new accounts or take out a line of credit in your name? If so, how many? The more damage that's been done, the longer it may take to resolve the issue.
Was your data used by the thief who took it, or has it been sold on the dark web? If your data was circulated on the dark web, it could be sold over and over again — and misused more than once. A good way to combat this is to enable dark web monitoring, like the one we offer.
Did the identity thief use your personal information to get medical care? When thieves get medical care under your name, their medical conditions and history can become mixed in with yours, creating significant problems when you’re seeking treatment.
How long did the theft go undetected?
When identity theft is undetected for long periods of time, more damage can be done — which can make the correction process lengthy as well.
In many cases, identity thieves will continue to exploit a victim’s identity until they no longer can — and the longer the theft goes on, the harder it can be to untangle.
This is one of the reasons identity thieves often target children.
In addition to generally having clean credit, minors don’t usually apply for credit until they come of age, or when they’re ready to purchase a car, so the crime can stay under the radar for years.
Are you restoring your identity yourself?
If you suspect you’re a victim of identity theft, it is crucial that you take steps to correct the issue.
These steps may include reporting the crime to government officials, alerting the three credit bureaus as well as any companies or financial institutions where fraud may have occurred, and closing any fraudulent accounts as soon as possible.
The process can be time-consuming and difficult to navigate. But having identity specialists by your side can make a big difference in how long it takes to overcome the problem.
If you’re not already covered by one of our plans, consider looking into an identity protection service with full-service remediation, like ours.
No matter how long it takes to remediate your case, if you’re a member and you’re hit with identity theft, we’ll be with you from start to finish — and that’s a promise.