FINANCIAL ADVICE | fraud protection 

What do I do if my identity is stolen?

Published February 7, 2019

Key Takeaways

  • Report the identity theft to your local law enforcement agency and file a report.
  • Notify your credit union and credit card companies immediately.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit reports with the major credit bureaus

In an increasingly digital world, the risk of identity theft is ever-present. If you suspect that your personal information has been compromised, it's crucial to act swiftly to minimize potential damage. Here's a concise guide on what steps to take if you find yourself a victim of identity theft.

Recognizing the Signs

Identity theft can manifest in various ways, from unauthorized credit card charges to unfamiliar accounts opened in your name. Stay vigilant by regularly monitoring your financial statements, credit reports, and other accounts for any suspicious activity.

Immediate Actions

Contact Authorities: Report the identity theft to your local law enforcement agency and file a report. This documentation may be required when disputing fraudulent charges or accounts.

Contact Financial Institutions: Notify your bank and credit card companies immediately. They can freeze or close compromised accounts and issue you new cards.

Mitigating the Damage

Fraud Alerts: Place a fraud alert on your credit reports with the major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This adds an extra layer of security and requires creditors to verify your identity before extending credit.

Credit Freezes: Consider placing a credit freeze on your reports to prevent new accounts from being opened without your explicit permission.

Document Everything

Keep Records: Maintain a detailed record of all communications and actions taken to resolve the identity theft. This will be valuable when dealing with creditors and authorities.

Review Credit Reports: Regularly review your credit reports to ensure that all fraudulent accounts have been closed and inaccurate information has been corrected.

Stay Informed and Educated

Stay Updated: Keep abreast of the latest identity theft trends and prevention methods to better protect yourself in the future.

Identity Theft Protection Services: Consider enrolling in an identity theft protection service offered by your credit union. These services often provide additional layers of security and assistance in case of a breach.

While the aftermath of identity theft can be daunting, taking swift and decisive action is essential. By following these steps and staying vigilant, you can minimize the impact of identity theft and regain control of your financial well-being. Remember, your Credit Union of Texas Fraud Team is here to support you through this challenging time. 

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