Identity theft can happen just about any time and anywhere. Sometimes it’s really obvious that you’ve been a victim of identity theft – especially when your credit card company flags the fraudulent charges before they go through. Other times the identity theft can be more clandestine, sometimes slipping by a victim unless they vigilantly watch their accounts and finances.
With so much vital personal data – social security numbers, passports and identification cards, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and other financial information – it can be a tough job protecting your name and your identity. If you are a victim of identity theft or fraud, it is important to report the crime to all the right authorities. Consider these tips to report identity theft online and to all appropriate authorities.
* File a police report with your local police department. Some stations allow you to file an online police report for identity theft.
* Set up a fraud alert with one of the three major credit bureaus. You can access the fraud alert request for Equifax (link to https://www.alerts.equifax.com/AutoFraud_Online/jsp/fraudAlert.jsp), for TransUnion (link to http://www.transunion.com/corporate/personal/fraudIdentityTheft/fraudPrevention/fraudAlert.page), and for Experian (link to https://www.experian.com/consumer/cac/InvalidateSession.do?code=SECURITYALERT), but you only need to put an alert on one credit bureau.
* Notify the U.S. Federal Trade Commission of the fraud at http://www.ftc.gov.
* You may also wish to put a hold on your accounts or request new credit card numbers from your issuer.
These tips should help you in reporting identity theft online and to the appropriate authorities. Make sure you don’t delay!