12 steps to take when you fall victim to identity theft. Identity thieves can max your credit cards, take out loans, file bankruptcy, and any number of other actions using your name and information.
- Notify your bank and all creditors. While many banks and creditors may have their own fraud alerts in place, those alerts may not catch everything.
- Implement a fraud alert. A 90-day fraud alert will allow creditors to know ahead of time that you have been a victim of identity theft.
- Check your credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com for all incorrect activity.
- Consider a credit freeze which will make it difficult for identity thieves to open accounts in your name. Ohio charges a $5 fee per credit reporting bureau.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357 to report the theft and get personalized information about next steps to take.
- Go to your local police to report the theft.
- Contact credit reporting agencies to relay new information if any.
- Change all your account passwords. While the thieves already have your contact information; changing your passwords is an easy way to combat any additional information from being taken.
- Send all creditors a copy of your Identity Theft Report. You will have received a copy of this Report from your local police office.
- Call the Social Security fraud hotline at 800-269-0271.
- Get a new driver’s license or state ID.
- Contact your utility companies to ensure they are aware of the situation and to update any necessary information.
US Federal Trade Commission, (877) 382-4357
Social Security Fraud Hotline, (800) 269-0271