Answered By: Emilie Smart
Last Updated: Aug 25, 2015     Views: 45

There are four basic steps that you should take if you believe you have been a victim of identity theft.

  • Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, and review your credit reports.

This is crucial to avoid new accounts being opened in your name. You only need to contact one of the three credit reporting agencies.

TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com

Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com

  • Close the accounts that you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.

Contact the fraud departments of each company and find out what they require you to do. They may have fraud report forms or require fraud claims in writing. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):

"Follow up in writing, and include copies (NOT originals) of supporting documents. It's important to notify credit card companies and banks in writing. Send your letters by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can document what the company received and when. Keep a file of your correspondence and enclosures."

You can file a complaint with the FTC using the online complaint form; or call the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline, toll-free: 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338)

  • File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.

Call your local police department and tell them that you want to file a report about your identity theft.

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