What Do I Do?
While there are no guarantees about avoiding identity theft, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk and minimize the damage if a problem occurs.
- Contact one of the three credit reporting agencies and ask for a fraud alert to be placed on your credit report. You only need to call one agency; it will automatically notify the other two agencies.
- If you have discovered that someone fraudulently opened new accounts in your name, contact the financial institution that opened them and cancel them. If you don't know how to reach the financial institution, the credit bureaus should be able to provide that information to you.
- File a report with your local police department.
- Contact all of the financial institutions that issue your bank cards, credit cards and checking/savings accounts to ensure that there are no fraudulent charges on your accounts. Ask them to send you their company's fraud dispute form, which you will need to fill out, even if you speak to someone on the phone. You will also need to provide them with a copy of your police report.
- If your driver's license or state-issued identification card is missing, contact Penn DOT at 1-800-932-4600 and also fill out a Misuse Form by going to: www.dmv.state.pa.us/identity_theft/reporting_fraud.shtml.
- If your passport is missing, contact the United States Department of State at 1-202-955-0430 or go to: https://www.travel.state.gov/passport/lost/lost_848.html
- If your Social Security card is missing, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or online at http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov
- If your medical/insurance cards are missing, contact your health insurance company.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, which tracks incidents of Theft Affidavit at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/resources/forms/affidavit.pdf
- For crimes involving your mail, contact your local post office. The number can be found by going to www.usps.com/ncsc/locators/find-is.html or looking in the blue pages of your phone book under "United States Government, Postal Service."
AS YOU CONTACT EACH OF THESE INSTITUTIONS, KEEP A RECORD OF ALL CONVERSATIONS, INCLUDING THE DATE YOU CALLED, THE NAME OF THE PERSON YOU SPOKE WITH, AND THE OUTCOME OF THE CONVERSATION.