What should I do if my identity has been stolen?
If your identity has been stolen you need to act fast to minimize potential liability and damage to your good credit. Here are some immediate steps you can take to limit your exposure.
- Check your credit report for fraudulent activity. You can get a free credit report from Annual Credit Report, a site sponsored by the three credit agencies - https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action
- Often times when there's a data breach, the company that's been hacked will offer free credit monitoring. Take advantage of the offer and enroll.
- Place a security freeze with all three agencies. This will stop access to your credit records, which prevents creditors from opening up new credit cards, loans, etc. in your name. Of course, this also prevents you from opening new accounts, but you have the ability to turn off (thaw) your credit freeze by notifying the agency. For more information, here are the links to security freeze information for each agencies.
- Change your passwords, and use different ones for different sites.
- If you have online accounts that offer multifactor authentication, and you haven’t take advantage of that extra security feature, please do so.
- Report the theft and develop an action plan using the FTC's website -- https://www.identitytheft.gov/