Few things can be more stressful than realizing that fraudulent efforts have now compromised your most sensitive information. However, all is not lost. Follow the steps below to recover potential losses as quickly as possible.

  1. Contact your bank, financial institutions, and creditors

    • Speak with the fraud department and explain that someone has stolen your identity.
    • Request to close or freeze any accounts that may have been tampered with or fraudulently established.
    • Make sure to change your online login credentials, passwords and PINs.
  2. Secure your email and other communication accounts

    • Many people reuse passwords and your email or cell phone account may be compromised as well.
    • Immediately change your accounts’ passwords and implement multi-factor authentication— a setting that prevents cybercriminals from accessing your accounts, even if they know your password — if you haven’t already done so.
  3. Check your credit reports and place a fraud alert on them

    • Get a free copy of your credit report from annualcreditreport.com or call 877.322.8228.
    • Review your credit report to make sure unauthorized accounts have not been opened in your name.
    • Report any fraudulent accounts to the appropriate financial institutions.
    • Place a fraud alert on your credit by contacting one of the three credit bureaus. That company must tell the other two.
      – Experian: 888.397.3742 or experian.com
      – TransUnion: 800.680.7289 or transunion.com
      – Equifax: 888.766.0008 or equifax.com
  4. Contact ChexSystems at 888.478.6536 to place a security alert on the compromised checking and savings accounts when a deposit account has been impacted.

  5. Report an ID theft incident by contacting the Federal Trade Commission: visit ftc.gov/idtheft or call 877.438.4338.

  6. Contact local law enforcement
    • File a report to verify that a crime has been committed.
    • Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.

Navigating through a crime of this nature can often feel tedious and overwhelming. You are the victim, and yet also responsible for recovering restitutions. While we hope you do not experience this firsthand, if so, perhaps this list will make the path forward a little more clear.