Start with Good Preventive Habits
- Leave your Social Security card at home in a safe place.
- Shred papers with personal information.
- Reduce your credit card accounts, and carry only the cards you need.
- Photocopy both sides of your credit cards and store safely.
- Review balances and transactions often by phone or online.
- Make sure every transaction on your credit card statements is accurate.
- Sign up with Experian, Transunion and Equifax. Stagger your requests to get a free credit report every four months or sign up for credit watch service that will report directly to you.
- Report to the police immediately and make several copies of police report.
- Call your credit card companies and ask where to send a copy of the police report.
- File a Federal Trade Commission ID Theft Complaint and Identity Theft Affidavit.
- Have your bank place an alert on your driver's license number and Social Security number, and freeze your account.
- Call fraud units of the credit report agencies Experian, Equifax and Transunion.
Federal Trade Commission identity theft line and websites