First 5 Things To Do If You Become A Victim Of Identity Theft! Bookmark This You Will Need It!

identity theft id theif fraud

If you encounter credit card fraud or identity theft of any kind start here!

You may have just opened your monthly credit card statement and noticed charges that were not yours, or you went to apply for a loan and the credit score you expected was not what the banker saw.  Perhaps everything is fine with you…well bookmark this for later because identity theft is the largest growing type of fraud happening now.  If or should I say when it happens to you take these five steps right away to get the process started of protecting yourself from further damage to your wallet and your credit reports!

1.  File A Police Report ASAP and Report The Identity Theft

People often assume that the police won’t be able to help with an online crime or with catching an ID thief, but it is the first step you must take.  Although the police probably won’t be able to catch the perpetrator, filing a police report makes it easier to prove your case to any creditors when attempting to correct credit information.  Keep a copy of this report in a safe place permanently as you never know when something may pop up years later from this crime.

2.  Notify Banks, Utilities, and Creditors Of The ID Theft

Immediately contact your banking institution of the situation and if necessary ask for new bank cards and possibly account numbers.  Also contact your utility companies since you will not want your power, gas, water, television, or internet services cut off during the process of correcting the issue.  Sometimes, thieves will attempt to open other utility accounts causing damage to your reputation with the utilities.  Let all of them and your other loan institutions know that you have been the victim of identity theft.

3.  Contact All 3 Credit Reporting Agencies

You will want to notify Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian of the identity theft that has occurred.  You need to ask them to flag your records with a fraud alert immediately.  After flagging your records any new credit request will require your permission directly.

Experian  National Consumer Assistance Center

P.O. Box 2104  Allen, Texas 75013  (888) 397-3742


Equifax  Disclosure Department

P.O. Box 740241  Atlanta, Georgia 30374  (800) 685-1111


TransUnion  Consumer Disclosure Center

P.O. Box 1000  Chester, Pennsylvania 19002  (800) 888-4213

4.  File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Contact them at 877-ID-THEFT to file a complaint or go to the Federal Trade Commission website.  Filing a complaint will give the FTC notice that your identity has been compromised, and they can further investigate the incident to see if your situation is part of a larger crime.  The Federal Trade Commission is the Federal agency that investigates identity theft.

5.  Close Any Necessary Accounts and Change Passwords

This may be obvious, but close all accounts that have been used by identity thieves so that new charges will not be incurred.  If you leave the accounts open you may have to provide additional proof to the creditor that the charges were not yours later.  You should also change any passwords and PIN numbers on accounts that were not affected.

Notice the increase in financial loss from 2010 to 2013 alone!

Identity Theft / Fraud StatisticsData
Average number of U.S. identity fraud victims annually11,571,900
Percent of U.S. households that reported some type of identity fraud7 %
Average financial loss per identity theft incident$4,930
Total financial loss attributed to identity theft in 2013$21 billion
Total financial loss attributed to identity theft in 2010$13.2 billion


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