The fastest-growing white-collar crime in the United States is identity fraud. ID fraud is when someone commits a crime or fraud in your name using your stolen personal information. No one, regardless of background or financial status, is immune to identity fraud and various cyber threats continue to grow with no sign of slowing down. If your identity is stolen, it can affect your finances, credit history and reputation. So what should you do if you suspect your ID has been stolen?
Take Action Immediately
- Flag your credit reports and get copies of your credit report. Contact the fraud department of one of the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). Tell them you suspect you are an identity theft victim. Ask them to place a “fraud” alert in your file and confirm that they will contact the other two companies. Also ask for a copy of your credit report.
- Equifax — To order your report by telephone, contact 1-800-685-1111. To report fraud over the telephone, contact 1-800-525-6285. The Equifax Web site is www.equifax.com.
- Experian — To order your credit report or report fraud by telephone, contact 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742). Access Experian’s Web site at www.experian.com.
- Trans Union — To report fraud by telephone, call 1-800-680-7289 or access Trans Union’s Web site at www.tuc.com.
- Consider requesting a credit freeze. You might want to place a credit freeze on your credit file, which means that potential creditors cannot get your credit report. This makes it less likely that a potential identity thief can open accounts in your name. First, contact your state’s Attorney General’s office, then contact each credit reporting company.
- Contact creditors. Contact your creditors about any accounts that have been changed or opened fraudulently. Ask to speak with someone in the security or fraud department.
- Notify your bank. Let them know if your debit card or checks are stolen and/or if unauthorized transfers and withdrawals have been made on one or more of your accounts.
- File a report. File a report with your local police. Get a copy of the police report, so you have proof of the crime.
- Keep Records. Keep records of your conversations and all correspondence.
- Get more information. For more information regarding identity theft, visit the following websites:Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (You can also call: 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338))
FTC Identity Theft Online Complaint Form
www.fraud.org (You can also call: 1-800-876-7060)
You can also call the FTC’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338).
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The information in this article was obtained from various sources and is not all inclusive regarding the subject matter. This content is offered for educational purposes only. Posted with permission from Travelers Insurance and including content from the Better Business Bureau.