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How to Report Identity Theft
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How do I report Identity Theft
You can contact The Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft, and then place an alert or freeze on your credit files.
By Bev O’Shea personal finance writer | MSN Money, Credit.com, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Orlando Sentinel Bev O’Shea is a former NerdWallet authority on consumer credit, scams and identity theft. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalistic studies from Auburn University and a master’s in education from Georgia State University. Before coming to NerdWallet, she worked for the daily papers, MSN Money and Credit.com. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, MarketWatch, USA Today, MSN Money and elsewhere. Twitter: @BeverlyOShea.
Oct 18, 2019
Written by Kathy Hinson Lead Assigning Editor Personal financial, credit scoring, debt and money management Kathy Hinson leads the core personal finance team at NerdWallet. Previously, she spent 18 years working at The Oregonian in Portland in positions such as copy desk chief and team leader for design and editing. Her previous experience includes news and copy editing for a variety of Southern California newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and journalism in the University of Iowa.
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The report of identity theft to Federal Trade Commission is your best option to alert authorities of fraud. It’s also important to put an alert to fraud on your credit account at the very minimum — and think about going for greater protection by freezing your credit.
Here’s how you can report to officials and organizations, so you can start your recovery.
Need a credit report review?
Create an account to have your credit report free and score on-hand, constantly.
Report identity theft to the FTC
Inform the authorities about identity theft at the Federal Trade Commission at or 877-438-4338. This preserves your rights, including the right to remove fraudulent accounts off your credit report.
On the site, you can also get a customized checklist to assist you in repairing the damages. If you report you have been the victim of identity theft with FTC You can also decide to file a complaint with your neighborhood police station. Take a copy of the FTC report with you.
If you suspect that the identity of your loved ones was stolen via post theft .
Set up a fraud alert with credit bureaus
If you think your personal information was compromised, you should make an initial on your credit file to ensure that credit applications that are made under your name are scrutinized more closely.
This alert is available to anyone who suspects identity theft. Contact any bureau and it will take care of notifying the others:
The alert grants you another set of credit reports, in addition to the ones you get every year by . They can assist you in identifying fraudulent credit accounts.
Contact the businesses involved
If you have a charge that is fraudulent on an existing credit card typically there is no liability provided you notify the issue promptly to the credit card company. The card will be cancelled and you’ll receive a new card with an entirely different number. Remember to update autopay accounts, and consider grouping on a single card to reduce the hassle if this should happen again.
If you require assistance in removing fraudulent charges from your accounts you can use the .
If new accounts were opened by Customer Service to receive assistance in to close the accounts. The FTC has a you can contact if a written notice is required. You could be asked to provide a copy of an investigation report.
Always keep records of the date and time you called, whom you spoke with and what steps you were told to take.
Consider a credit freeze or extended fraud alert
Be on the lookout for and check your credit reports to be sure everything was taken care of. Access information through TransUnion via NerdWallet.
Then, think about protecting yourself for the future. A is considered the surest way to ensure your credit won’t be used without your consent. Credit freezes using the are absolutely free.
If you do not want to apply freezes, you could obtain an extended alert to fraud that is valid up to seven years. As with the first one it is only necessary to call one bureau. This time, however, you’ll be required to submit documentation, which includes an identification theft statement
Equifax Contact: Mail to Equifax Information Services LLC, P.O. Box 105069 Atlanta, GA 30348-5069 or fax it to 888-826-0497.
Experian: Send Experian: the Experian address: P.O. Box 9554 Allen, TX 75013 or .
TransUnion Contact TransUnion: Send your request and documents to TransUnion, P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19016.
About the author: Bev O’Shea is a former credit writer at NerdWallet. Her work has been featured in publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, MarketWatch and elsewhere.
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