Protecting Personal Information
Protecting your personal information can help prevent identity theft. If you think you are a victim of identity theft, here's what to do:
1. Contact Fraud Departments
Contact the fraud departments of one of the three consumer reporting companies below to place a fraud alert on your credit report. You need to contact only one of the three companies. The company you call will contact the other two, and they will also place an alert on their versions of your credit report.
P.O. Box 740241
P.O. Box 9532
Allen, TX 75013
Fraud Victim Assistance Division
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
The fraud alert tells creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making changes to your existing accounts. Once you place the fraud alert in your file, you may order free copies of your credit reports, and if you ask, only the last four digits of your Social Security number will appear on your credit reports.
2. Close Accounts
Close bank and/or credit card accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Use the identification theft affidavit to dispute new unauthorized accounts.
3. File a Report
File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place. Get a copy of the report, or at least the number of the report, to submit to your creditors and others that require proof of the crime.
4. File a Complaint
File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases used by law enforcement agencies for investigations.