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How to Recover from Identity Theft
If you believe you’re the victim of identity theft, there are several actions that you need to take to begin recovering from this difficult situation.
Call your bank, report any fraudulent charges and file a police report.
Depending on your bank, they may require you to call the police and file a report yourself, or, in some cases, they may initiate that process. Be sure to clarify this with your banker.
Request new debit cards or credit cards as well as new account numbers for all of your accounts.
Contact Businesses Where Fraudulent Charges Were Made
Businesses may still be in contact with someone who has stolen your identity. If your bank can’t yet reverse transactions, contacting the businesses where these transactions were made to report the fraud can be a helpful step. If someone is present who recalls these transactions, it could help to positively ID the identity thief or give other vital details provided during the transaction.
Replace your Missing Documents
If your identity was stolen in physical form (IDs, Passports, cards, etc), contact the appropriate agencies and request replacements for any key documents or identification cards you need.
File Key Reports with Credit Bureaus, FTC and IRS
In addition to your police report, there are FTC forms you’ll also need to complete as part of your identity theft recovery process. The IRS form 14039 is also part of the process if your tax information or Social Security number was compromised. The IRS identity protection specialized unit is a key resource you may consult. Contact one of the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, Experian) to place a fraud alert on your credit report.
Change All Digital Credentials
Change your login information on all your digital accounts including usernames, PINS, passwords and secret questions. Keeping your data secure is a number one priority!
If you’re dealing with debt problems in addition to identity theft, speaking to a certified credit counselor about your current debt situation can often be helpful. CreditGUARD offers financial education, credit counseling and debt management programs. Call CreditGUARD Today at 1-800-500-6489 to learn more!