What to Do if You Are a Victim of Identity Theft
No one wants to think about it. It is an attack from an unseen adversary. Your money. Your credit standing. Your ability to get a mortgage or a line of credit. Your precious time. If you think you’ve been a victim of identity theft, here are a few things you should do right away.
If your data was lost by a vendor or service provider and you’re offered free credit monitoring, take it.
Get a free copy of your consumer credit report from any of the big three consumer credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, Transunion).
Carefully review your credit report for any consumer credit relationships you didn’t authorize and any addresses that you haven’t ever lived or worked at. If there’s anything unusual, notify the credit reporting agency and the creditor itself.
Consider freezing your credit report or placing a fraud alert on your credit report. This makes it harder for someone to use your information to establish credit in your name.
Do your tax returns as early as possible and don’t wait until the deadline. Sometimes, the goal is to steal your tax refund by filing early using your information.
Go to IdentityTheft.gov , review all of the suggestions and do as many of them as are applicable to your situation.
Be vigilant. Be skeptical. Be smart. Fight back.