What should I do if my Identity is stolen?

Contact at least one of the credit bureaus and request that a fraud alert be placed on your credit reports:

  • www.experian.com
  • www.transunion.com
  • www.equifax.com
  • Having a fraud alert on your credit reports notifies potential credit grantors to verify your identification before extending credit in your name.

    If you live in a State that allows you to place a "security freeze" on your credit report, do so. This will prevent the credit bureaus from providing your credit reports to anyone without your approval (with a few exceptions).

    Contact the credit bureaus to find out if your state allows a security freeze. There could be a small fee for this service.

    Get copies of all three of your credit reports and examine them carefully. Look for new accounts the identity thief may have opened, new credit inquiries, and misuse of existing accounts like unpaid balances on your credit cards. You are entitled to one free copy of each of your credit reports if your identity has been stolen. However, you should continue to monitor your credit reports for several months.

    Report the identity theft to your local police department and get a copy of the police report. You will need a copy of the police report to provide to the credit bureaus and your creditors.

    Report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov or call 877-438-4338 and complete the Identity Theft Affidavit form. You will need a copy of this form when dealing with your creditors.

    Notify all your credit card issuers, banks, and utility companies about your identity theft. Ask them to close your old accounts and open new accounts with new account numbers.

    Close any unfamiliar new accounts. If you notice any new credit or utility accounts on your report, call the issuer or provider and have them to close the accounts immediately.

    Call the Social Security Administration. Contact the Social Security Administration at www.ssa.gov or 800-269-0271 if you feel your social security number is being used by someone else.

    Keep Detailed Records. Make sure you keep a record of all your communications with creditors and credit bureaus, etc., including dates, who you spoke with and what they told you.

    I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to sign up with a credit monitoring service and regularly monitor your credit reports and to be proactive to avoid identity theft. Get identity theft protection and be prepared to act quickly in the unfortunate event you are the victim of identity theft.

    Get credit information and decide for yourself who to trust to help legally improve your credit.

    DuBose and DuBose The Most Trusted Name in Legal Credit Improvement for the Faith Community

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