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Victim of Identity Theft? Act Fast!

If you're a victim of identity theft, act fast to protect your name and credit.

Follow these four steps immediately so you can prevent any further abuse by identity thieves.

1.  Place a fraud alert on your credit report with one of the three major credit bureaus.
By placing a fraud alert on your credit report, creditors must contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts.  As soon as the credit bureau you contacted confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will be automatically notified to place fraud alerts.  All three credit bureaus will send you your credit report free of charge.  The three major credit bureaus are:

  • Equifax
    P.O. Box 740241
    Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
    Phone: 1-800-525-6285
    Web site:
  • Experian
    P.O. Box 9532
    Allen, TX 75013
    Phone : 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
    Web site:
  • TransUnion
    Fraud Victim Assistance Division
    P.O. Box 6790
    Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
    Phone : 1-800-680-7289
    Web site:

Continue to check your credit report regularly to make sure no new fraudulent activity has occurred.  Learn more about fraud alerts and New York State's Security Freeze

2.  Close all fraudulent accounts.
Call and speak with someone in the security or fraud department of each company where a fraudulent account was opened in your name.  Close all accounts.  Most likely they will ask you to follow up in writing so that there is a written record for your file.  Some companies, especially your credit card company, will ask you to sign an affidavit saying you did not make any purchases.  Once the affidavit is signed, they cannot hold you responsible for purchases or charge you more than $50 to erase the fraudulent debts on the account.

Remember to send all correspondence via certified mail, return receipt requested and keep copies.  If you do not have to follow up in writing, ask them to send you a written confirmation that the accounts were closed.

3.  File a police report.
File a police report and get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others who may require proof of the crime.

4.  File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases which law enforcement agencies use for investigations.  Filing your complaint helps the FTC learn more about identity theft and the problems victims are having.

  • Call FTC's Identity Theft Hotline toll-free: 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338);  TTY: 1-866-653-4261
  • Mail your complaint to:
    Identity Theft Clearinghouse
    Federal Trade Commission
    600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20580