Q and A With Your BBB

January 06, 2010
Question:  I think someone stole my identity.  What should I do?

Answer:  If you suspect someone has stolen your identity, it’s important that you act quickly in order to protect yourself.  First, contact the fraud units of each of the three credit bureaus to report the identity theft and ask to have a “Fraud Alert/Security Freeze” placed in your file.  This way, creditors will contact you before opening new accounts.  Once a fraud alert is placed in your file, you may receive one free copy of your credit report from each reporting agency.  Check your credit reports for inquiries by companies you’re unfamiliar with.  Next, close the bank accounts you believe have been tampered with and ask your banks to flag any new accounts and contact you to confirm suspicious activity.  Remember to select a new PIN and when opening new accounts.  To dispute charges on your existing accounts, contact the companies that have been supplied with your information and request fraud dispute forms.  Third, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (1-877-IDTHEFT).  Providing your information to the FTC will help law enforcement track down identity thieves.  Finally, contact your local police office to file a miscellaneous incident report and provide the police with a copy of your FTC complaint.