What Should I do if my Identity is Stolen?
If you believe that your identity has been stolen, you need to take action immediately. But before you do that be sure that your identity was, indeed, stolen.
First of all, how are you so sure that your identity has been stolen? Did you notice suspicious or fraudulent activity on your credit profile? Are you seeing new accounts or inquiries show up on your credit monitoring service?
If any of these are occurring, you will definitely need to do something about it as quickly as possible.
1. File a Police Report
You need to be sure that you file a report with your local police department, for legal reasons. You need proof that you took this action in case you need that proof down the road. It may not catch the criminals, but it shows that you took the initiative to let the proper authorities know about the situation.
2. Contact the Credit Reporting Agencies (CRA’s)
The next thing you’ll need to do is let the CRA’s (credit bureaus) know that your identity has been stolen. Since these agencies are the ones who will be reporting these fraudulent activities on your profile, it’s important that you inform them of such activity as to allow them the chance to verify the information and act accordingly. This may not always be an easy task, and you may need to take further action and ask them to remove all of the erroneous items more than once.
By calling the CRA’s you will be able to put a fraud alert on your profile to help protect your credit against further fraudulent activity.
3. Contact the Federal Trade Commission
The next thing you should do is contact the FTC. Use the file a complaint tab
4. Contact the Creditors
The next thing you should do is contact the creditors that are reporting the fraudulent accounts or activity. They may provide you with additional steps that will allow you to take proper action.
5. Monitor your Credit Profile
As mentioned in this article, you should constantly monitor your credit profile. Keeping a close eye on your credit profile is the best way to ensure that your credit is no longer a part of fraudulent activity. Watch it closely and take notes.
* Note: you can also contact IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center for the FBI) at: www.ic3.gov
Social Security Number/Card
If you believe that your Social Security card has been stolen, you will need to visit the website of the Social Security Administration and file for a new card here: http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/
To report a stolen card go here: https://oig.ssa.gov/report-fraud-waste-or-abuse/reporting-other-issues
If you receive a new card but you’re still dealing with fraud issues, you may need to replace your credit card number. You can file for a new card here: https://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/