What should I do if I'm a victim of identity theft?
Identity Theft Victims: Steps to Take
- File a police report with the local police department. Request a copy of the report.
- Request a current credit report from Transunion, Experian, and Equifax. Review your report for accounts or entries that you don't recognize. Send a blocking letter to the credit bureaus to inform them of specific items that don't belong to you. Request that the bureaus block any new charges or entries that come to that account.
- File a Fraud Alert with Transunion, Experian, and Equifax.
- Contact your creditors and banks. Inform them that you have become a victim of identity theft. Request a review of all charges on your accounts. Dispute, in writing, the charges you do not recognize. Notify the bank if there have been unauthorized withdrawals from your account. Keep copies of all correspondence.
- Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Submit an Identity Theft Affidavit or call the FTC’s Identity Theft Hotline at 877-438-4338.
- Document all calls and contact related to the theft.
- Maintain an organized file with police reports, credit reports, credit card statements, and all correspondence.
- Keep your correspondence with banks, credit card companies, and the credit bureaus in writing, NOT ONLINE. Not only are online communications less secure, legal waiver clauses are frequently buried in “click” agreements, which may require you to give up the right to go to court to enforce your rights.