Security & Fraud
What to do if you are a victim of Identity Theft
Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, and review your reports.
1. If you suspect your personal information has been used to commit fraud or theft, contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus and request that a "fraud alert" be placed on your file. At the same time, request a copy of your credit report. Follow up in writing and include copies (not originals) of your documentation, such as the police report or your credit card statement with circles around the items in question.
Web Site: www.equifax.com
Place a fraud alert: 1-888-836-6351
Order a credit report: 1-866-349-5191
Web Site: www.experian.com
Place a fraud alert: 1-888-397-3742
Order a credit report: 1-888-397-3742
Web Site: www.transunion.com
Place a fraud alert: 1-800-680-7289
Order a credit report: 1-800-888-4213
2. Close the accounts that you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Call and speak with someone in the security or fraud department of each company. Follow up in writing, and include copies (NOT originals) of supporting documents. It's important to notify credit card companies and banks in writing. Send your letters by certified mail, and request a return receipt so you can document what the company received and when. Keep a file of your correspondence and enclosures.
3. File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place. Ask for a copy of the report. Credit card companies may need proof of the crime to erase the debts caused by identity theft.
4. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). By sharing your identity theft complaint with the FTC, you will provide important information that can help law enforcement officials across the nation track down identity thieves and stop them. The FTC can refer victims' complaints to other government agencies and companies for further action, as well as investigate companies for violations of laws the agency enforces.
You can file a complaint online at IdentityTheft.gov, by phone at 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261, or by mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580. Be sure to call the Hotline to update your complaint if you have any additional information or problems.
The FTC's consumer Identity Theft website at IdentityTheft.gov is the federal government's one-stop resource for identity theft victims. The site provides streamlined checklists and sample letters to guide you through the recovery process.