Ten Things to do if You Become a Victim of Identity Theft

Last Tuesday I gave you some tips on how to avoid Identity Theft. What if, after all your efforts, you still become a victim? Here are some steps you can take to help recover your identity and financial losses:

1. Don’t panic. Of course, if your identity is compromised you are going to be upset. However, often the process to recover your identity is a tedious one, and you won’t want your emotions getting in the way. Remember, your life isn’t over and you will get your identity cleared up!

2. File a police report with the local police or with the police where the identity theft occurred.

3. Review your credit reports and place fraud alerts on them from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

4. Contact the creditors for any accounts that have been interfered with and close the accounts. Make sure you speak with someone in the fraud or security department  and follow up in writing.

5. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or call 1-877-438-4338.

6. Put a flag alert on all accounts with your financial institutions and ask them to contact you if there is unusual activity.

7. If you think someone is using your social security number, contact the Social Security Administration immediately.

8. Contact the IRS. Believe it or not, but some thieves may actually try to use your information to file an income tax return in order to get a refund.

9. Contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center. The ICCC has a central referral system for internet related crimes, so this is a good place to go if you’ve been a victim of any internet related crime.

10. Finally, keep a detailed and accurate account of all conversations and correspondence. You can get more information on what your rights are in the event of Identity Theft here.

Here is another resource for protecting yourself from identity theft.

(Linked to Top Ten Tuesday.)


  1. Thanks for posting this. I hope I don’t have to use these tips, but they are good to have handy.

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