You hear about identity theft daily in the news, you know online security threats are on the rise and probably know some of the ways in which people steal and use your personal information. You most likely even know someone who’s been a victim of identity theft. With all that said, do you know the steps to take in the event that your identity has been compromised?
Fraud Specialist, Chelsea Marcyes, provided us with the steps to take if your identity is compromised:
Step 1: Call one of the three credit companies (Equifax 1-800-525-6285, Experian 1-888-397-3742, TransUnion 1-800-680-7789) and ask them to put a fraud alert on your credit report and complete the following:
Let them know that you are an identity theft victim
Ask them to put a fraud alert on your credit file
Confirm they will contact the other 2 companies
This alert will stay on you report for 90 days. You may also choose to report your identity compromise to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Step 2: If you suspect your identity has been stolen, close existing accounts and open new ones. Remember to create PINs and passwords that are tough to figure out.
Better yet, take proactive steps to protect yourself from identity theft:
- Keep track of your personal belongings. Don’t leave your purse, wallet or bag unattended in a public place
- Monitor your credit for fraudulent activity by reviewing your credit report once a year
- Make sure and shred documents that have account numbers, social security numbers or any other sensitive data
Chelsea is a Fraud Specialist at our Staples location. She enjoys working with the community to educate them about fraud prevention and education. Her family includes her husband Lonnie, their two children Jackson and Bentley, two dogs Carly and Hailey, and two horses Elsa and Woody. In the summer, they enjoy gardening, canning and riding horse. As a family, they love to watch football games … especially when the Broncos are playing!
First International Bank & Trust, Member FDIC