Educating yourself about identity theft is an important first step in minimizing your risk. If you know or suspect that any of your personal identifying information such as social security number, financial account numbers, PINS, passwords, etc. has been stolen, it’s important to take swift action. Reporting the crime immediately and keeping detailed records of your actions is very important and can reduce the time it takes to resolve this frustrating crime. Credit.org recommends you take the following top five steps:
- Place a fraud alert on your credit report by contacting one of the major credit reporting agencies.
- File a police report with your local law enforcement agency where the crime occurred.
- Call you creditors and banks immediately; close any of your open accounts and obtain new numbers with new PINS and passwords. Close all fraudulent accounts opened in your name.
- Send an ID Theft Affidavit (certified mail, return receipt requested) to creditors, banks, collection agencies, and credit reporting agencies to notify them of your case.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
[download_link link=”http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2002/02/idtheft.shtm”]Download the FTC’s ID Theft Affidavit directly from FTC.gov[/download_link]