Protect Your Identity and Data

What to Do If Your Identity Is Stolen

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If you suspect you may be a victim of fraud or identity theft, you should take these steps as soon as possible.

First, place a fraud alert on your credit reports. This lets creditors know to follow certain procedures before they open new accounts in your name or make changes to existing accounts.

You can place an initial 90-day fraud alert by contacting one of the nationwide credit reporting agencies. Once you call one, that company will contact the other two.

When you plan an alert, you’ll get free copies of your credit reports. Look for red flags like debts you can’t explain and accounts you didn’t open.

In addition to the fraud alert, you may want to place an extended fraud alert on your account. It’s free if your identity’s been stolen and lasts for seven years.

You can also place a freeze on your credit for a small fee. This stops anyone other than you from accessing your credit reports.

You’ll also want to complete the FTC’s official ID theft affidavit form. Identitytheft.gov has an assistant that will walk you through completing the form.

Go to your local police department and tell them someone stole your identity and you need to file a report. Take your Identity Theft Affadavit, driver’s license, proof of address and any proof of theft.

Get a copy of the police report as you may need it to send to credit bureaus, creditors, collectors and banks.

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