Report Identity Theft
How to report if you have been a victim of Identity Theft
- File a police report
- Close affected accounts
- Place an extended fraud alert on your credit (you'll need the police report)
- If your social security number is involved, contact the Social Security Administration.
- File a complaint at the FTC Identity Theft Site.
The FTC site provides detailed information on other steps to take in the wake of identity theft.
Contact Credit Agencies
Call the toll-free fraud number of any one of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies and place an initial fraud alert on your credit reports. This alert can help stop someone from opening new credit accounts in your name. Once a fraud alert is placed with one agency, the others are notified. You will get a credit report from one of the agencies.
Equifax: 1-800-766-0008; http://www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
An initial fraud alert stays on your credit report for 90 days. When you place this alert on your credit report with one nationwide consumer reporting company, you'll get information about ordering one free credit report from each of the companies. It may be prudent to wait about a month after your information was stolen before you order your report. That's because suspicious activity may not show up right away. Once you get your reports, review them for suspicious activity, like inquiries from companies you didn't contact, accounts you didn't open, and debts on your accounts that you can't explain. Be certain that information — like your SSN, address(es), name or initials, and employers — is correct.
If the Stolen Information Includes Government-Issued Identification
Contact the agencies that issued the documents and follow their procedures to cancel a document and get a replacement. Ask the agency to flag your file to keep anyone else from getting a license or another identification document in your name.
Once you've taken these precautions, watch for signs that your information is being misused. For example, you may not get certain bills or other mail on time. Follow up with creditors if your bills don't arrive on time. A missing bill could mean an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing address to cover his tracks. Other signs include:
- Receiving credit cards that you didn't apply for
- Being denied credit, or being offered less favorable credit terms, like a high interest rate, for no apparent reason
- Getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you didn't buy.
Continue to read your financial account statements promptly and carefully, and monitor your credit reports every few months in the first year of the theft, and once a year thereafter.