Don't be a victim
Always be aware
Have you ever found unexpected withdrawals on your bank statement – or a strange new account on your credit report?
Received phones calls from debt collectors about debts that aren’t yours?
Ever get an unexpected bill or even stopped getting your bills?
If this happened to you, you could be a victim of identity theft.
Identity theft is when someone steals your personal information. Then they take money out of your accounts, apply for credit cards, or go on a spending spree all using your name.
So keep an eye out for unexpected activity on your financial records, medical bills or IRS statements.
What to do if you are a victim
Nobody wants to be a victim of identity theft, but if it happens to you, do the following.
First, call one of the nationwide credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian or TransUnion.
Have them issue a fraud alert to make it harder for thieves to open accounts in your name.
Second, order free copies of your credit report from each of the credit reporting companies. Make sure all of your information is accurate and up-to-date.
Third, go to ftc.gov/complaint to create an identity theft affidavit. This will help you file a police report. Keep records of your calls, and copies of documents you send off.
Identity theft can be scary. But knowing what to do can help put you in control.