Identity Theft: What to do if Yours is Stolen

Posted August 18, 2016 Industry Insights, Expert Tips, Company News

 

 

Has your identity been stolen? Act quickly to limit the damage.

Make sure you keep copies of all letters, files, reports, and phone calls and note all deadlines on your calendar.

Place a 90-day fraud alert and ensure information on your credit report is accurate.

Use this checklist to place a 90-day fraud alert with a credit reporting company.

Placing a fraud alert entitles you to free copies of your credit report. Check all key information and look for inquiries from companies you haven’t contacted, accounts you didn’t open, and debts on your accounts that you can’t explain.

Errors related to identity theft can be disputed with the credit reporting companies and businesses. You have the right to have disputed information blocked from appearing on credit reports.

Report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Use this online form to create your Identity Theft Affidavit. You can also fill out Identity Theft Victim’s Complaint and Affidavit, a voluntary form for filing a report with law enforcement, as well as identity theft-related disputes with credit reporting agencies and creditors.

File a police report.

Bring your Identity Theft Affidavit and other proof of theft, a government-issued ID with photo, proof of address, and this memo from FTC to law enforcement. Attach a copy of the police report to your Identity Theft Affidavit— this is your Identity Theft Report. Credit reporting companies and businesses use it to verify which accounts have been affected.

Contact security or fraud departments of each company where an account was affected.

Confirm the company has dealt with all disputed accounts or fraudulent debts. Follow up in writing with copies of your supporting documents and Identity Theft Report.

Place an extended seven-year fraud alert.
A voluntary extended alert allows you to get two free credit reports within 12 months from all three credit reporting companies. They must take your name off marketing lists for prescreened credit offers for 5 years, unless you ask to be put back on the list.

Check with your insurance agent.

You may have coverage on your homeowners or renters policy to help with costs related to regaining your identity and repairing your credit.

The FTC also provides a great step-by-step guide to identity theft with relevant sample letters to send to businesses and credit reporting companies.