Step One: File a report with your local police department. If the identity theft did not take place within your area, file a report with the police from the area where the theft took place. Make sure you get a copy of the police report.
Step Two: Close accounts. If you notice any accounts under your name that have been tampered with or opened without your consent, close them immediately. The longer an identity thief has access to these accounts, the more money you could lose. Call each bank or company and then follow up in writing.
Step Three: Call the three credit reporting bureaus and place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit file.
- EQUIFAX: www.equifax.com; 1-800-525-6285
- EXPERIAN: www.experian.com; 1-888-397-3742
- TRANSUNION: www.transunion.com; 1-800-680-7289
Step Four: Review your credit report for:
- Accounts you did not open;
- Debits on your account you did not know about;
- Inquiries from companies you don’t know;
- Inaccurate information.
Step Five: File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.