SAFETY CORNER is dedicated to providing you with tips for being safe in your personal life.
If your identity is stolen follow these three simple steps:
- Place an initial fraud alert on your credit report.
- Order your credit reports.
- Create an Identity Theft Report.
Step 1: Call one of the nationwide credit reporting companies, and ask for a fraud alert on your credit report. The company you call must contact the other two so they can put fraud alerts on your files. An initial fraud alert is good for 90 days.
Equifax: 1.‑800.‑525.‑6285 Experian: 1‑.888.‑397.‑3742 TransUnion: 1‑.800.‑680.‑7289
Step 2: Each company’s credit report is slightly different, so order a report from each company. Read your reports carefully to see if the information is correct. If you see mistakes or signs of fraud, contact the credit reporting company. ID theft victims get a copy of their reports for free.
Step 3: An Identity Theft Report can help you get fraudulent information removed from your credit report, stop a company from collecting debts caused by identity theft and get information about accounts a thief opened in your name. To create an Identity Theft Report:
- File a complaint with the FTC at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/. Your completed complaint is called an FTC Affidavit.
- Take your FTC Affidavit to your local police station (or to the station where the theft occurred) and file a police report. Get a copy of the police report.
These two documents comprise an Identity Theft Report.
Recovering from identity theft can be very time consuming. It is important to act fast completing the steps above. For more information log on to the Federal Trade Commission website at www.ftc.gov/idtheft.
Author – Lisa A. Tyler, National Escrow Administrator, Fidelity National Financial