Reporting identity theft is important to do as soon as you suspect someone has stolen your identity through the use of your credit or debit card, social security number, driver’s license, or other identification. Prompt action is essential to limit the potential damage.
First report the identity theft to the local police and get an Identity Theft Report from them. This report can be used to verify to businesses and credit companies that you have had your identity stolen.
Make sure that there are details about everything that happened, the account numbers used, and the business or company involved.
Call your bank or credit company right away to cancel your account that was stolen. You will want to open a new account with a PIN number that is difficult for others to guess.
After calling your bank or credit card company, mail them a letter including the Identity Theft Report that you received from the police.
Also, inform one of these companies of the identity theft: TransUnion (800) 680-7289 , Equifax 1-888-766-0008, or Experian 1-888-397-3742.
When reporting identity theft to one credit company, that company’s fraud department will inform the others. Each of these companies can be easily accessed online as well. Request either an initial (90 days) or extended (seven years) fraud alert to be issued for your credit card.
The Federal Trade Commission should be notified of your identity theft in order to help investigators stop identity theft across the United States. There is an online form where you can file your complaint, or you may call their toll-free number 1-877-438-4338.
If someone has stolen or used your driver’s license number, contact your local department of motor vehicles and report it to them.
If your passport has been lost or stolen, you should report this to the U.S. Passport office online.
In the case of a lost social security card, changing your number will not necessarily put a stop to the identity theft problems. You may request a new one with the same number from the Social Security Administration. Of course, proper forms of identification will be required to get a new Social Security card.
Do not delay when reporting identity theft. Protect your identity by placing important documents and cards in secure places.
When using your ID number in stores, guard against others seeing it by placing your hand over the numbers and standing directly in the way of others seeing.
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