Recover from Identity Theft

Article ID: 
1295

Summary of Recommended Steps to Recovery

Whether you've been the victim of a security breach, had your wallet full of cards IDs and bank cards stolen, or accidentally provided personal information as the result of a phishing email, it is important to take action quickly. Following are the recommendations of the Information Security Group, followed by more details for each.

  1. Contact the credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.
  2. Alert the Social Security Administration: SSA Fraud Hotline ( 1-800-269-0271) www.ssa.gov/
  3. File a complaint online at the FTC's Identity Theft site: 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338) www.ftc.gov/idtheft
  4. Contact the Identity Theft Resource Center: http://www.idtheftcenter.org/
  5. Read Repairing Your Credit After Identity Theft, also on the FTC's site.

Credit Reporting Agencies

If you have reason to believe your personal information has been compromised or stolen, contact the Fraud Department of one of the three major credit bureaus listed below.

  • Equifax 
    Direct Line for reporting suspected fraud: 800-525-6285 

    Fraud Division 
    P.O. Box 740250
    Atlanta, GA 30374 
    800-685-1111 / 888-766-0008
    www.equifax.com
  • Experian 
    Direct Line for reporting suspected fraud: 888-397-3742 
    Credit Fraud Center 
    P.O. Box 1017 
    Allen, TX 75013 
    888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)
    www.experian.com
  • Trans Union 
    Direct Line for reporting suspected fraud: 800-680-7289 
    Fraud Victim Assistance Department 
    P.O. Box 6790 
    Fullerton, CA 92634 
    Phone: 800-916-8800 / 800-680-7289 
    www.transunion.com

When contacting the Credit Reporting Agency, you should request the following:

  • Instruct them to flag your file with a fraud alert including a statement that creditors should get your permission before opening any new accounts in your name.
  • Ask them for copies of your credit report(s). (Credit bureaus must give you a free copy of your report if it is inaccurate because of suspected fraud. ) Review your reports carefully to make sure no additional fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name or unauthorized changes made to your existing accounts. 
    NOTE: 
    In order to ensure that you are issued free credit reports, we strongly encourage you to contact the agencies DIRECT LINE (listed above) for reporting fraud. We do not recommend that you order your credit report online.
  • Be diligent in following up on your accounts. In the months following an incident, order new copies of your reports to verify your corrections and changes, and to make sure no new fraudulent activity has occurred.
  • If you find that any accounts have been tampered with or opened fraudulently, close them immediately. To ensure that you do not become responsible for any debts or charges, use the ID Theft Affidavit Form developed by the Federal Trade Commission to help make your case with creditors.

Social Security Administration

SSA Fraud Hotline ( 1-800-269-0271) www.ssa.gov/

If you are the victim of a stolen Social Security number, the SSA can provide information on how to report the fraudulent use of your number and how to correct your earnings record. We encourage you to contact the Fraud Hotlineimmediately once you suspect identity theft.

The website also provides tips on using and securing your Social Security number. Visit the SSA website for advice on keeping your number safe.

ID Theft Clearinghouse

1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338) www.ftc.gov/idtheft

You can file a complaint online at the FTC's Identity Theft site or call the FTC’s Identity Theft Hotline, toll-free: 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338); TDD: 202-326-2502. Counselors will take your complaint and advise you how to deal with the credit-related problems that could result from identity theft. You can also write to: Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580.

Be sure to call the Hotline to update your complaint if you have any additional information or problems.

Local Law Enforcement

It is important that you report identity theft to your local police department as soon as you become aware that you are a victim. Get a copy of the police report which will assist you when notifying creditors, credit reporting agencies and if necessary, the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Resources

The following links provide detailed information related to identity theft and protecting yourself.

See Also

Tags: identity theft   

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