Defend Against Identity Theft
Defend against ID theft as soon as you suspect it.
Place a “Fraud Alert” on your credit reports, and review the reports carefully.
The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have toll-free numbers for placing an initial
90-day fraud alert; a call to one company is sufficient:
• TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
• Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
• Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
Placing a fraud alert entitles you to free copies of your credit reports. Look for inquiries from companies you haven’t contacted, accounts you didn’t open, and debts on your accounts that you can’t explain.
Close accounts. Close any accounts that have been tampered with or established fraudulently.
• Call the security or fraud departments of each company where an account was opened or
changed without your okay. Follow up in writing, with copies of supporting documents.
• Use the ID Theft Affidavit at www.ftc.gov/idtheft to support your written statement
• Ask for verification that the disputed account has been closed and the fraudulent debts
• Keep copies of documents and records of your conversations about the theft.
File a police report. File a report with law enforcement officials to help you with creditors
who may want proof of the crime.
Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Your report helps law enforcement
officials across the country in their investigations.
• Online: ftc.gov/idtheft
• By phone: 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338)
• By mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse,
Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580