What To Do When Your Identity Has Been Stolen

identity theft 2Having your identity stolen can be a very scary experience, but if you act quickly, you can limit the impact on your credit.  Follow these 8 steps immediately when you realize your identity is stolen.

Place A Fraud Alert On Your Account

You can use the three credit reporting companies – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.  Fraud alerts are active for 90 days, after that, you’ll have to reactivate the alert if you feel it’s necessary.

File A Report

Contact your local police department right away and let them know what has happened.

File An Identity Theft Report

Go to www.consumer.ftc.gov and use the tools available to file your report.

Contact Your Bank

You will need to contact your bank, credit card companies and loan companies to place a fraud alert on your account.  You could also close your existing accounts and open new ones.

Report Your Loss Immediately To Your Card Issuer

Once you report your credit card stolen or lost, you won’t be responsible for any unauthorized purchases made by the thieves.

Get A Copy Of The Transaction History

Check the transactions on the stolen credit card and look for unauthorized charges.  You can go online to your account with the credit card company and check unbilled activity there.  That will give you immediate information to dispute with the credit card company.

Follow Up With Your Credit Card Company

Write a letter to the credit card issuer to confirm that you reported your card lost or stolen so you are not relying on a phone conversation only.

Contact the DMV

You will need new identity cards so contact the DMV for a replacement of your drivers license.  Ask them to note the loss or theft in your file or ask for a new driver’s license number.

TransUnion reports that 28% of identity fraud cases involve credit or financial fraud.  Fraud concerning phone, utility, bank and employment comprises more than 50% of identity theft cases.

Hopefully you will not become a victim of identity theft but if you do perhaps these steps will help you deal with the situation quickly and efficiently.

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