While no one ever plans on having their identity stolen, it happens. Use these steps to recover as quickly as possible and save your credit score and reputation.
“Identity theft is no joke, Jim! Millions of families suffer every year!” Dwight from The Office.
Steps to take if you are a victim of Identity Theft
- Freeze your credit at all 4 credit reporting agencies (see Yakety Yak), you can freeze by phone, mail or online.
- Call your local police and file a report. This provides you evidence that you may need to complete other steps.
- Call the Social Security Administration’s fraud hotline at 800-269-0271.
- Contact the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-0433.
- Notify any banking or financial organizations you use, including your financial advisor, if you have one.
- Notify your medical insurance providers.
- Review all recent account statements for unauthorized activity and report any suspicious transactions to the business where the unauthorized or suspicious activity occurred. You may want to go back several months.
Report and use the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as a key resource for resolving Identity Theft, at: Identity Theft Recovery Steps | IdentityTheft.gov. It provides a very comprehensive list of steps for resolving your identity theft – both what to do right away and overtime.
Get in the habit of checking your credit with a free credit report annually at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you want a free credit monitoring service, you can try CreditKarma, which offers that in partnership with TransUnion.
Take A Hike:
If your identity gets stolen, follow these steps immediately upon discovering it. While it may take some time to completely resolve it, it is important to clear your name and credit as soon as possible. #findyourselfasap
The four credit reporting agencies:
- Experian www.experian.com/freeze
- Equifax www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services
- Trans Union www.transunion.com/credit-freeze
- Innovis www.innovis.com/personal/securityFreeze
To opt out or remove your name from junk mail and phone call lists:
- Mail – www.dmachoice.org
- Phone – www.donotcall.gov
- To stop credit card offers and other solicitations: www.optoutprescreen.com