Start with Good Preventive Habits
- Store your Social Security Card in a safe place.
- Shred papers with personal information.
- Reduce the number of credit card accounts you have and only carry the cards you need.
- Photocopy both sides of your credit cards and store them in a safe place.
- Be sure to keep an eye on balances and transactions.
- Verify that all transactions on statements are accurate.
- Sign up with Experian, Transunion and Equifax. Stagger your requests to get a free credit report every four months or sign up for credit watch service that will report directly to you.
- Report to the police immediately and make several copies of police report.
- Call your credit card companies and ask where to send a copy of the police report.
- File a Federal Trade Commission ID Theft Complaint and Identity Theft Affidavit.
- Have your bank place an alert on your driver's license number and Social Security number, and freeze your account.
- Call fraud units of the credit report agencies Experian, Equifax and Transunion.
Here are some tools and resources that can come in handy...
Federal Trade Commission identity theft line and websites
Social Security fraud line
Credit reporting agencies