Identity theft is becoming more and more common in today’s digital world. If your personal information is stolen, it only takes thieves a matter of minutes to cause costly damage that will take you weeks, months and possibly even years to repair. It is a scary reality that we have to face. If you discover you are the latest victim of identity theft, here are first five steps you should take:
Step 1: Call the companies where you know fraud occurred. Ask them to close or freeze your account. Change logins, passwords and PINs for your accounts.
Step 2: Place a fraud alert with one of the three credit bureaus and review your credit report, making note of any transactions you don’t recognize. (The credit bureau you contact for the fraud alert must tell the other two.)
- Equifax: http://www.equifax.com/CreditReportAssistance/ or 1-888-766-0008
- Experian: http://www.experian.com/fraudalert or 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion: http://www.transunion.com/fraud or 1-800-680-7289
- Free Credit Report: www.annualcreditreport.com or 1-877-322-8228
Step 3: Report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission via this online complaint form or by calling 1-877-438-4338. Be sure to print and save your affidavit immediately as you won’t be able to get to it once you leave the page.
Step 4: File a report with your local police department.
Step 5: Contact your insurance agent to see if you have identity theft coverage.
You can limit the damage from identity theft by acting quickly. In our next identity theft blog, we’ll discuss what do to after contacting your agent about coverage. To alleviate some of the stress and financial burden associated with a stolen identity, consider purchasing personal identity theft insurance.
To learn more about identity theft coverage, contact your local independent insurance agent today.
Source: Federal Trade Commission
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