Identity theft happens to more than 17 million people every year. It is increasingly important that consumers know how to protect themselves against identity theft. Read This!
Identity Theft: What To Do Right Away
Identity Stolen? Use this Helpful Guideline to Recovery.
Step 1—Notify: Call the companies where any fraud has occurred.
- Call the Fraud Department. Explain that someone has stolen your identity. Ask them to close or freeze the accounts. Once an account is frozen, no one can add new charges unless you agree to them.
- Change logins, passwords, and PINs on all your accounts.
Step 2—Credit Bureau: Place a fraud alert and request your credit reports.
- To place a fraud alert, contact one of the three credit bureaus. That company must communicate your fraud alert to the other two. Fraud alerts are free and will make it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name.
- Get your free credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Go to annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
- Review your reports. Make note of any account or transaction you don't recognize. These details will help when you report the theft to the FTC and the police.
Step 3—Report It: Report identity theft to the FTC
- Go to IdentityTheft.gov and click "Get Started". Include as many details as possible.
- Based on the information you enter, IdentityTheft.gov will create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan.