We hear about identity theft all the time, but it’s hard to find resources that tell you what to do when it happens. We found some great resources and compiled the most important information from our findings below.
- Place a Fraud Alert – Contact a credit-reporting company to place a fraud alert on your credit report. Whichever one you contact must tell the other agencies to do the same. This is free and good for 90 days. An alert on your report prevents the issuing of future credit in your name without your permission.
- Order Credit Reports – Having placed the initial fraud alert, you’re entitled to a free credit report from each credit-reporting company. Get them all. If you know the accounts that have been tampered with, contact those businesses and speak to someone within the fraud department – their phone numbers are listed on the reports. Follow up in writing by certified mail as part of your detailed documentation.
- Create an Identity Theft Report – This report, filed with the FTC, will help you deal with credit-reporting companies, debt collectors and any businesses that gave the identity thief credit or opened new accounts in your name. You can use it to help get the fraudulent information removed from your credit report and stop companies from collecting debts that are a result of identity theft.
On is a checklist of these important steps. Once those are complete, you may want to place an extended fraud alert or even a freeze on your credit file.
For the FTC’s complete list of recommendations, click here.
We hope you never have to use this information, but keep this link handy if you do.