What should I do if I am the victim of identity theft?

If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, you should inform one of the credit reporting companies and put a fraud alert on your credit report. A fraud alert mandates that creditors who check your credit implement measures to confirm your identity prior to opening a new account, giving you another card, or extending your credit limit. Upon placement of a fraud alert with one credit reporting company, that company will automatically inform the others.

Placement of an initial fraud alert requires credit reporting companies to maintain the alert on your file for 90 days. Following theft of your identity and your filing of an identity theft report, you can put an extended alert on your credit report. Additionally, you can put a security freeze on your credit report, which prevents new creditors from gaining access to your credit file. And it prevents others from opening accounts in your name until you remove the freeze.

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