If you learn you are a victim of identity theft, you will need to contact the relevant financial institutions and credit card companies where you maintain accounts in addition to the three major credit bureaus that maintain your credit reports.
When you contact the financial institutions and credit card companies you do business with, request that they close your current accounts and issue new credit cards and financial accounts with new card and account numbers. Also, review all recent transactions and dispute any fraudulent credit card charges or financial account transactions. If any monies have been stolen from your accounts, insist that those funds be restored.
At the same time, you will need to immediately notify at least one of the three major credit bureaus by phone.
If you notify any one of the three major credit bureaus that you are a victim of identity theft or suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, that credit bureau is responsible for notifying the other two credit bureaus on your behalf. It may be advisable to go ahead and notify all three major credit bureaus in order to be certain that all three credit bureaus have received notification.
The three major credit bureaus can be notified at the following addresses and phone numbers:
Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Department
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
PO Box 9532
Allen TX, 75013
When you notify the credit bureaus, be certain to request that the credit bureaus place an initial 90 Day Fraud Alert on your credit file. If you choose to rely on one of the major credit bureaus notifying the other two that you are a victim of identity theft or suspect you are a victim of identity theft, be sure to request that the credit bureau notify the other two credit bureaus that you want an initial 90 Day Fraud Alert placed on your credit files with those credit bureaus as well.
Once a 90 Day Fraud Alert is placed on your credit file with each of the three major credit bureaus, you will be entitled to receive a free credit report from all three of the credit bureaus. Inspect each of the three credit reports closely and determine if there are any credit accounts that have been fraudulently opened in your name. Also, inspect the credit report closely for any inaccurate information on legitimate credit accounts contained with the report. Additionally, be sure the information at the top of the credit report containing your name, address, date of birth and social security number is accurate. Be certain that the credit bureaus remove any inaccurate information or fraudulent accounts from your credit reports.
Finally, if you determine that you are in fact a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to place an Extended Fraud Alert on your credit file with each of the three major credit bureaus. An Extended Fraud Alert remains on your credit file for seven years.
You will need to place the Extended Fraud Alert with each of the three major credit bureaus individually. Also, you will need to have a Police Report documenting that you are a victim of identity theft in order to place an Extended Fraud Alert.