IdentityTheft.gov: Federal Trade Commission
Is someone using your personal information to open new accounts, make purchases or get a tax refund? Report it at IdentityTheft.gov and get a personal recovery plan.
What to do right away:
Step 1: Call the companies where you know fraud occurred.
*Call the fraud department. Explain that someone stole your identity.
*Ask them to close or freeze the accounts. Then, no one can add new charges unless you agree.
*Change logins, passwords, and PINS for your account.
Step 2: Place a fraud alert and get your credit reports.
*To place a fraud alert, contact one of the three credit bureaus. That company must tell the other two.
*A fraud alert is free. It will make it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name. You’ll get a letter from each credit bureau. It will confirm that they placed a fraud alert on your file.
*Get a copy of your free credit reports from Equifax, Experian and Transunion. Go to annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
*Did you already order your free annual reports this year? If so, you can pay to get your report immediately. Or follow the instructions in the fraud alert confirmation letter from each credit bureau to get a free report. That might take longer.
*Review your reports. Make note of any account or transaction your don’t recognize. This will help your report the theft to the FTC and the police.
Step 3: Report identity theft to the FTC:
*Visit IdentityTheft.gov and click “Get Started” or call 1-877-438-4338. Include as many details as possible.
Based on the information you enter, IdentityTheft.gov will create your Identity Theft Affidavit and recovery plan.
If you create an account, we’ll walk your through each recovery step, update your plan as needed, track your progress and pre-fill forms and letters for you.
If you don’t create an account, you must print and save your Identity Theft Affidavit and recovery plan right away. Once you leave the page, you won’t be able to access or update them.
Step 4: File a report with your local police department.
*Go to your local office with:
*A copy of your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit
*A government-issued ID with a photo
*Proof of your address (mortgage statement, rental agreement or utilities bill)
*Any other proof you have of the theft (bills, IRS notices, etc.)
*The FTC’s Memo to Law Enforcement (Available at IdentityTheft.gov)
*Tell the police someone stole your identity and your need to file a report. If they are reluctant, show them the FTC’s Memo to Law Enforcement.
*Ask for a copy of the police report. You’ll need this to complete other steps.
*Create your Identity Theft Report by combining your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit with your police report.
*Your identity theft report proves to businesses that someone stole your identity. It also guarantees you certain rights. Go to IdentityTheft.gov for next steps.
*Your next step might be closing accounts opened in your name or reporting fraudulent charges to your credit card company. IdentityTheft.gov can help-no matter what your specific identity theft situation is.
*Disclaimer: This information is taken directly from the Federal Trade Commission’s IdentityTheft.gov pamphlet. I have never used this service before so I have no opinion, either yes or no that it works but I have called the credit companies before to check my credit scores. This is very important if you suspect your accounts have been compromised. Please call the credit companies if you need assistance on this and at the end of the year, you should get a complimentary report to check your scores and card reports each year. Go luck with this.
To all readers: If you suspect that your information has been compromised, please DO NOT wait on this. Call the credit companies and report it immediately.
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