My Identity Has Been Stolen What now?

Congratulations!

You've joined the (not-so) exclusive group of 9 million Americans who get their identities stolen every year.

Jokes aside, identity theft is a serious crime that wreaks havoc on your life. If you don't handle it correctly, you may permanently damage your future financial stability. If your identity has been stolen, take the following steps to protect your future.

Put a fraud Alert on your credit reports

Placing a fraud alert is a way to put a red flag on your credit reports. It alerts lenders that an extra step should be taken to verify your identity before extending credit to you. In order to put a 90-day fraud alert on your credit score, you only need to call one of the three credit agencies. The links below provide additional information on these fraud alerts from each of these credit agencies.

Website: https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp

Customer Hotline: 1-888-202-4025

Website: https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html

Customer Hotline: 1 (888) 397-3742

Website: https://freeze.transunion.com/sf/securityFreeze/landingPage.jsp

Customer Hotline: 1 (855) 681-3196

Contact Federal Trade Commission

Along with contacting the credit reporting agencies, you should also contact the FTC and file an Identity Theft Report. There are multiple ways that you can file this report. You can file it over the phone using one of these two numbers:

1-800-ID-THEFT or 1-866-653-4261 (both toll-free)

Or you can file the report by mail using this address:

600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington D.C., 20580

The FTC may also be able to give you additional steps to help you recover from your ID Theft depending on what type of fraud was committed.

File a police report

In order to complete your Identity Theft Report, you must file a police report with your local police department. Make sure to obtain a copy of your police report and/or the case number. Having a copy of this to add to your report will help you when dealing with agencies that your identity thief may have contacted to open accounts.

Close accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently

If your accounts have been tampered with or if accounts have been opened in your name without you doing so, it is wise to close them. With this step, it is especially important to have filed a fraud alert with the credit reporting companies as to prevent the thief from reopening the accounts.

For more information and tips on recovering from identity theft

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