What to Do Right Away
Call the companies where the fraud occurred.
You will need to explain to the companies that someone has stolen your identity. Ask them to close or freeze your accounts, that way no one can add new charges unless you agree.
Change your logins, passwords, and PINs to all of your accounts.
Place a fraud alert and receive a copy of your credit reports.
Setting up a fraud alert is completely free and makes it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name. To place the fraud alert, you may contact one of the three credit bureaus below. Once you have contacted at least one of them, that company must tell the other two.
You can do this by going to annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1.877.322.8228. Review your credit reports and make note of any transaction you do not recognize.
To do so, go to identitytheft.gov and include as many details as you possibly can. Once completed, the website will actually give you an Identity Theft Report and recovery plan.
What to Do Next
Call the fraud department of each account and explain that someone stole your identity. Ask the organization to close your account and to send you a letter confirming the following: The fraudulent account is not yours, you are not liable for the account, and it was removed from your credit report.
You will do the same as above with calling the fraud department of each account. After explaining to them that your identity has been stolen, you will let them know which charge is fraudulent and ask them to remove the charge(s). Then, you will have them send you a confirmation letter confirming that the charges have been removed.
Write a letter to each of the three credit bureaus explaining the information on your credit report that is fraudulent. In your letter, ask them to block the information that is fraud. Make sure to include a copy of your Identity Theft Report along with proof of your identity, such as a copy of your driver’s license. If someone steals your identity, you have the right to remove the fraudulent information from your credit report. With an Identity Theft Report present, the credit bureaus must honor your request to block the fraudulent information.
Other Possible Steps
- Reporting a misused Social Security Number
- Stopping debt collectors from trying to collect debts you don’t owe
- Filing a report with your local police department
- Replacing government-issued IDs