Even the most diligent may find that they have fallen for a scam. It is scary and frustrating, but does not mean that all is lost. Follow these best practices to ensure you and your assets are protected.
1. Contact your bank, financial institutions, and creditors.
- Speak with the fraud department and explain that someone has stolen your identity.
- Request to close or freeze any accounts that may have been tampered with or fraudulently established.
- Change your online login credentials, passwords and PINs.
2. Secure your email and other communication accounts.
- Many people reuse passwords and your email or cell phone account may be compromised too.
- Immediately change your accounts’ passwords and implement multi-factor authentication— a setting that prevents cybercriminals from accessing your accounts, even if they know your password — if you haven’t already done so.
3. Check your credit reports and place a fraud alert.
- Get a free copy of your credit report from annualcreditreport.com(Opens in a new Window) or call 877-322-8228.
- Review your credit report to make sure unauthorized accounts have not been opened in your name.
- Report any fraudulent accounts to the appropriate financial institutions.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit by contacting one of the three credit bureaus. That company must tell the other two.
– Experian: 888-397-3742 or experian.com
– TransUnion: 800-680-7289 or transunion.com
– Equifax: 888-766-0008 or equifax.com
4. Contact ChexSystems.
- Call 888-478-6536 to place a security alert on the compromised checking and savings accounts when a deposit account has been impacted.
5. Contact the Federal Trade Commission to report an ID theft incident.