What Should You Do If Your Identity Is Stolen?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received 3 million identity theft and fraud reports in 2018. So, at some point, the personal or financial information of you or someone you know could be compromised. In this blog, we offer several steps to take if someone steals your identity.
Contact Your Financial Institution
Call your bank and/or credit card company as soon as you detect any suspicious activity on your accounts. Their fraud department will help you to close the affected account(s).
Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Account
As soon as you suspect someone has stolen your identity, call one of the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion) to have them place a fraud alert on your credit account. A 90-day fraud alert puts a red flag on your credit report and notifies lenders that they should take extra steps to verify your identity before extending credit. A security freeze prevents new creditors from accessing your credit report. If you choose this option, extra steps will be needed when applying for credit. You only need to contact one of the credit bureaus to place a fraud alert or freeze on your accounts.
Sign Up for Credit Monitoring
Identity theft can cause months or even years of stress. Credit monitoring services save the time and hassle of ongoing monitoring of your accounts. Make sure to review the monthly fees and included services before signing up for credit monitoring.
File a Report with the FTC
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) helps identity theft victims get their finances back in order. Alert the FTC if you believe your personal or financial information has been compromised. An FTC representative will create an identity theft affidavit to help you dispute fraudulent accounts. You may call the FTC’s Consumer Response Center at 1-877-FTC-HELP or online.
Call Your Local Police Department
After you’ve created an identity theft affidavit with the FTC, file a report with your local police department. Bring a printed copy of your FTC ID Theft Complaint Form and any supporting information from your bank, credit card provider, or credit bureau, to help expedite fraud reporting. Don’t forget to ask your local investigator for a copy of the police report.
Identity theft is traumatic. Following these steps can help you restore your financial well-being and peace of mind.
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For more identity theft prevention tips, please call us at 270-793-0880 or complete the form on this page.