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Actions to Take if you are a Victim of Identity Theft or You Suspect that You are a Target

Actions to Take if you are a Victim of Identity Theft or You Suspect that You are a Target

  • Visit, create an Identity Theft Report and receive a recovery plan which will include an ID Theft Affidavit.  This affidavit can be used to report information to many organizations and simplify the process of disputing the charges with companies where a new account was opened in your name.
  • If you call the FTC, a counselor will take your complaint and advise you on how to deal with the credit related problems that could result.
  • In addition, the FTC, along with banks, credit grantors, and consumer advocates, have developed the ID Theft Affidavit to assist victims in restoring their good names.
  • FACTA gives specific legal rights to place a fraud alert within your credit files at all three major credit bureaus with a phone call or letter to any one of their fraud departments.  If you are a victim of identity theft, you may also have an “extended” fraud alert placed within your credit file.  To place an extended alert on your file, you must submit your request in writing and include a copy of your ID Theft Report with a law enforcement agency or with the United States Postal Service.

Take Immediate Action if You Suspect that Your Information has been Stolen

  • Contact credit bureaus to place fraud alerts.
  • If credit cards are stolen – contact credit card companies immediately to cancel your card.
  • If applicable, call the local police department.
  • If bank accounts have been violated, contact your financial institution.
  • Call any other third parties affected by the fraud.

Steps to Take If You Are A Victim of Identity Theft

  • If you suspect the misuse of your personal information to commit fraud, act immediately. Keep a record of all conversations and correspondence when you take the following suggested steps:
  • Contact your bank(s) and credit card issuers immediately.  Ask for the fraud department and explain that someone stole your identity. Customer service or fraud prevention phone numbers can generally be found on your monthly statements.
  • Ask them to close or freeze the accounts.  That way no one can add new charges unless you agree.
  • Change logins, passwords, and PINS for your accounts.
  • Contact the major check verifications companies to request they notify retailers to deny your stolen checks.  Two verification companies that accept reports of check fraud directly from consumers:
    • Telecheck (800) 710-9898
    • International Check Service (800) 631-9656
  • File a police report with your local police department.  Obtain a police report number with the date, time, police department, location and police officer completing the report.
  • Go to or call (877) 438-4338. Include as many details as possible.  Based on the information you enter, will create your Identity Theft Report and recovery plan.
  • Contact one of the three major credit bureaus and request a copy of your credit report. Place a fraud alert on your file and a victim's statement asking creditors to call you before opening new accounts.  A fraud alert will last one year. This will help prevent an identity thief from opening additional accounts in your name.  You will receive a letter from each credit bureau.  It will confirm that they placed a fraud alert on your file.
    • Equifax (800) 685-1111
    • Experian (888) 397-3742
    • TransUnion (888) 909-8872
  • Obtain your free credit report form Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.  Go to
  • or call using the numbers listed above.
  • Watch your mailbox.  If a thief has stolen your bank or credit card statements, pre-screened credit offers or tax information, or if an identity thief has falsified change-of-address forms, this is a crime. Contact your post office and police.
  • Maintain a written timetable of what happened, what was lost and the steps you took to report the incident to the various agencies, banks and firms impacted.  Be sure to record the date, time, contact phone numbers, person you talked to and any relevant report or reference number and instructions.