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What To Do Right Away
Did someone steal and use your personal information? Act quickly to limit the damage.
Step 1: Call the companies where you know fraud occurred.
Step 2: Place a fraud alert and get your credit report.
Step 3: Report identity theft to the FTC.
Step 4: File a report with your local police department.
What To Do Next
Take a deep breath and begin to repair the damage.
Close new accounts opened in your name.
Remove bogus charges from your accounts.
Correct your credit report.
Consider adding an extended fraud alert or credit freeze.
|Extended Fraud Alert||Credit Freeze|
|Lets you have access to your credit report as long as companies take steps to verify your identity||Stops all access to your credit report unless you lift or remove it|
|Free to place and remove if someone stole your identity. Guaranteed by federal law.||Cost and availability depend on your state law. There might be a small fee for placing, lifting and removing.|
|Lasts for 7 years||Lasts until you lift or remove|
|Set it by contacting each of the three credit bureaus:
||Set it by contacting each of the 3 credit bureaus.
|For fraud alerts:||For credit freezes:|
Extended fraud alerts and credit freezes can help prevent further misuse of your personal information. There are important differences. This chart can help you decide which might be right for you.
Depending on your situation, you might need to take additional steps.
Resolve tax-related identity theft.
Report a misused Social Security number.
Stop debt collectors from trying to collect debts you don't owe.
Replace government-issued IDs.
Resolve child identity theft.
Resolve medical identity theft.
Clear your name of criminal charges.
For certain types of accounts, you might have to contact additional offices.