What Should I Do If My Identity Is Stolen?

 Identity theft, using another's personal information to commit fraud, is the nation's fastest growing crime according to FBI statistics. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that millions of Americans become victims of identity theft every year with combined losses to businesses, financial institutions, and consumer victims in the billions of dollars.

If you suspect that your identity has been stolen, take steps to protect yourself as quickly as possible.

Protect Your Credit

  • File a report with the Department of Campus Safety and any other organization they direct you to.
  • Change the passwords on your personal accounts (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc).  For tips on creating good passwords click here.
  • Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus in the United States (listed below). If you have ever applied for credit in the United States, they have credit information about you in their files.
  • Request that a "fraud alert" be placed in your file.
  • Request that information be entered in your account telling potential creditors that "pre-approved" credit applications no longer be sent to your name.
  • Ask for a statement in your file that tells all creditors to call you before opening any new accounts or changing any existing accounts.
Close or suspend any accounts you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Also, check your credit reports with these credit bureaus on an annual basis.

TransUnion

Fraud Victim Assistance Department
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
Phone: 800-680-7289
Fax: 714-447-6034

Equifax Credit Information Services

Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348
Phone: 800-525-6285 

Experian

Experian's National Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013
Phone: 888-397-3742 

Protect Your Social Security Number

If you believe your Social Security Number (SSN) has been used illegally, contact the Social Security Administration (SSA), and call the SSA Fraud Hotline at 1.800.269.0271. You should also periodically contact the SSA at 1.800.772.1213 to verify the accuracy of the earnings reported on your SSN and request a copy of your Social Security Statement. Additionally, these other SSA resources are available online:

File an Identity Theft Complaint

File a complaint with the FTC or call the Identity Theft Hotline at 1.877.IDTHEFT (438-4338) or by direct dial at 202.326.2502. You can also visit the FTC web site at www.consumer.gov/idtheft for more information to help you guard against and recover from identity theft. 

  You may also write to the FTC at: Identity Theft Clearinghouse
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580

Related Web Sites

Below are additional links where you can find valuable information on protecting yourself from identity theft.

Acknowledgements

This information was provided in part by the University of Kansas (http://www.privacy.ku.edu/idtheft/).