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My Identity Has Been Stolen!

Your privacy has been breached. Someone has stolen your identity. We present a number of actionable ideas you should begin today which will help limit the damage, get your identity back, and maybe even stop the thieves. Consider taking all of the following actions immediately!

1. Place Fraud Alerts
Act quickly to place a fraud alert with all three major credit bureaus, each of your credit card companies, and business such as your banks, brokerage firms, mortgage company, and utilities. (Note: Credit bureaus must provide free copies of credit reports to victims of identity theft.)

Phone numbers for credit bureaus.Phone numbers for credit card agencies.
Equifax800-525-6285American Express800-297-7672
Experian888-397-3742Discover Card800-347-2683
TransUnion800-680-7289MasterCard800-622-7747
(Be sure to ask for a free credit report).VISA866-434-6854

2. File A Police Report
Contact your local police department and report the theft. Send copies of the police report to credit bureaus, other creditors, and the businesses where the targeted theft occurred (like your credit card company).

3. Check With Your State Department Of Motor Vehicles
Contact your State Department Of Motor Vehicles to see if fraudulent driver's licenses have been issued in your name If one has, request that a fraud alert be placed on the nationwide computer.

4. File A Complaint With The FTC
Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 877-438-4338. Your information can help law enforcement officials track down identity thieves and stop them. They can also refer your complaints to other government agencies and companies for further action.

5. Contact the Social Security Administration
Call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 to report the theft and request a copy of your work history to check it for errors. You can also request a replacement card if your Social Security card was lost or stolen, a new Social Security number in certain circumstances, and help to correct your earnings records (or there were indeed errors in your work history).

6. Carefully Check All Of Your Statements And Bills
Review your credit card bills, bank, brokerage, and other financial statements monthly. Immediately report any discrepancies.

7. Close All Affected Accounts
Close all accounts that you think may have been targeted. Follow-up in writing with each of those companies. (Consider using certified mail, with a return receipt requested as additional documentation). After you have closed an account, always ask for a letter confirming closure of the account, and that they discharged the debts (if a creditor). Keep the letter in your files for future reference, as you may need it if the account reappears in your credit report.

8. Change Your Passwords
Change all of your passwords. Make them a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters and include numbers. Do not use any combination of your name, date of birth, or other personal information.

9. Review Your Credit Report
You requested free credit reports in #1 above. As each arrives, check the report carefully for unknown accounts and charges. Ask the credit bureaus to remove any errors your find.

10. Keep Good Records
Keep a file of all identity theft related paperwork and keep track of all conversations. Write down the name, title and contact information of everyone you talk to, what they tell you, and the date and time the conversations took place. Follow-up in writing with everyone you speak to. Keep copies of all correspondence or forms you send, and keep the originals of your supporting documents (like the police report in #2) and letters to and from creditors. Send only copies of these items. Keep the records for 7 years after your case is closed.

Protect Your Privacy
Visit our Protect Your Privacy page for actions you can take today to help protect your privacy.

Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed. The information presented is an opinion intended to assist people who have been a victim of identity theft. Since we do not have complete control over the "Ads by Google" appearing on this page, we do not directly endorse their sites or products. Please notify us if you find any of the advertisers to be misleading.
Credit Report Directory
Quickly locate all the contact information and links you need for getting in touch with Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Innovis, and how to get a free credit report.

Opt Out!
Contact information and tips for getting yourself removed from junk mailing lists and telemarketing lists.

10 Important Things To Consider When Getting A Mortgage Or Home Equity Loan
Detailed information to assist you in getting the best mortgage or home equity loan, and avoid being ripped off.

Protecting Your Privacy
Information to assist you in protecting your identity and personal data.

How To Find and Collect Your Unclaimed Property
Information on how, and where, to search for free and how to claim any lost money. It's worth searching just to find out if any money is owed to you.

Feel free to contact me to correct any information in this article or to alert me to additional information one should consider.

© 2007 Topher
Updated 2012

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