A woman hands her Freedom Bank VISA Check Card to a cashier.
When the worst happens, we know what to do.
Use these tips to protect yourself if your identity has been stolen.
Report all suspicious contacts and file an identity theft case with the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.gov/idtheft or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT.
- You can place an initial fraud alert on your credit reports for free by contacting one of the three credit reporting agencies:
When you place the fraud alert at one agency, they should notify the other two agencies for you. You can place an initial 90-day alert for any reason, but to extend the alert you will need to provide documentation that you are a victim of identity theft and supply additional supporting documentation such as a police report.
- Monitor your credit at annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228.
- Notify credit card companies and monitor credit card bills and bank statements for unauthorized purchases, withdrawals, or anything else suspicious, and report them to your bank right away.
- File your tax returns as soon as you can. Filing an early tax return protects you from identity thieves who could file and collect your tax refund before you do.
- Contact the Social Security Administration: Request a copy of your wage earning report to verify that your social security number is not being used fraudulently, which could result in your owing taxes for wages earned by someone who’s stolen your information.
- Contact your health insurance carrier: Request a copy for your health insurance statement in order to identify any fraudulent medical claims.
- Keep a paper trail/file: Keep copies of everything, including correspondence, copies of credit report and notes from phone calls.