1. Protect your credit report ASAP.
• Place a credit freeze for free on your TransUnion Credit Report online or over the phone.
• Or, place a free credit lock with TrueIdentity and receive the benefits of this protection solution.
• Set up fraud alerts. Fraud alerts notify lenders to verify your identity before extending any credit, by calling you at a phone number you provide. You can have a fraud alert on top of a credit freeze or credit lock.
A credit lock or credit freeze prevents the fraudster from opening any new accounts in your name by stopping lenders from checking your credit report for this purpose
2. Review a copy of your credit report from each bureau to check for any unauthorized activity.
• Obtain your free yearly credit report from annualcreditreport.com
Consider purchasing TrueIdentity Premium to keep tabs on any future unusual changes, receive alerts when someone tries to access your credit report and receive dark web monitoring and alerts.
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3. Report fraud to the authorities
• Contact government agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to report the fraudulent activity. You should also consider contacting your local law enforcement agency to file a police report.
• Alert your credit card companies immediately and all financial institutions; the bank can freeze your accounts and help prevent them from being drained.
• Cancel your credit cards right away if the bank doesn’t do so automatically. Notify your bank to stop checks, if needed. You can also report stolen checks.
• Contact any companies on your credit report that you do not recognize. Verify the information they have in their records for the reported item. Provide the companies with a copy of your police report if you have one, notarized FTC Affidavit and other relevant documentation. Keep a log of all related phone conversations, including the names of people you speak to.
4. Clean up any fraudulent activity on your credit report and begin recovery.
• If you notice any suspicious activity on your report, contact the creditors and question the account and/or inquiry. Dispute any activity on your credit report that is a result of fraud.
• Monitor financial and online accounts for suspicious activity. Your email or Facebook accounts, for example, may have also been compromised.
• Change your passwords across the board. Password 123 won’t cut it. Additionally, regularly check your credit reports to ensure that your credit is not being affected by fraudulent activity.
Follow-up is key
Follow up with the companies and agencies you have contacted to ensure that their investigations resulted in your favor. We will help you, but remember that you are ultimately responsible for working with credit grantors to address fraudulent accounts. Review your credit report periodically to make sure everything is as it should be and stay alert to anything suspicious. You will recover from fraud, and by following these steps, you can protect yourself from this happening again.