Your identity has been stolen; now what?
Previously, we circulated information on steps that you should take to avoid having your identity stolen and vigilance remains your best defense, but what should you do if those efforts fail, and you find that you have become a victim of identity theft?
Consider taking the following steps immediately after you realize that your identity has been stolen:
#1 – Notify your credit card company(ies) immediately of the fraudulent transaction and request that a new card be issued immediately. (This applies only where there was a fraudulent charge on a credit card.)
#2 – Notify the appropriate government agency (Social Security, IRS, Department of Taxation, Employment Commission). (This applies only when the breach was discovered in communication from one of these agencies.)
#3 – Notify the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – contact information below) of the fraudulent activity and request that they (a) freeze your credit and (b) place a fraud alert on your credit report.
#4 – File an online report with the Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov.
#5 – File an online compliant referral form at www.ic3.gov.
#6 – Contact your local law enforcement agency (city or county).
#7 – Contact your local insurance agent to determine whether you have cyber security coverage.
#8 – Reevaluate (and repeat) actions taken to avoid identity theft (e.g., change all account passwords).
#9 – Sign up for a credit monitoring service and watch carefully for any unauthorized new account activity.
#10 – Notify Graves Light Lenhart and your other financial institutions.
#11 – Visit www.identitytheft.gov for additional resources on reporting and recovering from fraud.
Remember – Time is of the essence once you’ve detected your identity has been compromised. Unfortunately, if you have been the victim of an attack, you are more at risk for subsequent attempts.
Important contact information:
Equifax: (800)525-6285; www.equifax.com
Experian (formerly TRW): (888)-397-3742; www.experian.com
TransUnion: (800)680-7289; www.TransUnion.com
Social Security Administration (Fraud line): (800)269-0271
Virginia Department of Taxation (Identity Theft Information Line): 804-404-4185
Virginia Employment Commission: 800-782-4001