WARNING SIGNS OF IDENTITY THEFT
There are a number of ways you might discover that someone is using your personal or financial information. You might see unfamiliar charges on your credit card or bank accounts, get calls about debts you do not owe, or find unfamiliar accounts on your credit report. You might even file your income taxes, only to receive a notice from the IRS indicating that taxes have already been filed using your Social Security number.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE BEEN THE VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT
- For financial-related fraud, contact the financial institution or retailer for the compromised account to report the fraud. Ask them to place a hold on your account and issue a replacement debit or credit card.
- Contact the credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert and a security freeze on your accounts:
- Go to identitytheft.gov to create an identity theft report and create a recovery plan.
- Check your credit reports. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228 to get your free annual credit reports. If you see any unfamiliar accounts or transactions on your reports, contact the credit reporting agency to dispute the charges and have any unauthorized accounts removed.
- You may choose to file a police report with your local police department.
- In the event of tax identity theft, go to the IRS’ website at irs.gov and complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. Mail or fax the form according to the instructions. Include proof of your identity, like a copy of your Social Security card, driver’s license or passport.
- Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if it protects you from losses due to identity theft.