Identity theft can happen when you least expect it. Through our research, we’ve found the first three steps you should take if you suspect that your identity has been stolen – courtesy of the Federal Trade Commission! Continue reading to learn more…
Place an initial fraud alert. Three nationwide credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) keep records of your credit history. If you think someone has misused your personal or financial information, call one of the companies and ask them to put an initial fraud alert on your credit report. In order to do so, you’ll need to provide proof of your identity.
- Report that you are an identity theft victim.
- Ask the company to put a fraud alert on your credit file.
- Confirm that the company you call will contact the other 2 companies.
Equifax can be reached at: 1-800-525-6285
Experian can be reached at: 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion can be reached at: 1-800-680-7289
Order your credit reports. After you have placed an initial fraud alert, the credit reporting company will explain your rights and how you can get a copy of your credit report. After you have placed the initial fraud alert, you are entitled to a free credit report from the 3 reporting companies.
Create an identity theft report. This report will help you to deal with credit reporting companies, debt collectors, and even businesses that may have opened accounts in your name. This report can be used to:
- Get fraudulent information removed from your credit report.
- Prevent or stop a company from collecting debts that result from identity theft, or from selling the debt to another company for collection.
- Place an extended fraud alert on your credit report.
To learn more, visit http://www.identitytheft.gov