FLORENCE - As you make purchases this holiday season, be sure to stay alert and keep an eye out for signs that you have experienced identity theft.
If you believe that someone is using your personal or financial information to make purchases or commit fraud, visit IdentityTheft.Gov to report the issue and get a personal recovery plan. The site provides advice to help you deal with problems caused by identity theft, as well as the ability to get a personal recovery plan that walks you through the process, update your plan and print pre-filled letters to send to credit bureaus, businesses and debt collectors.
There are many types of identity theft. Regardless of which type you have experienced, there are several steps you should take as soon as possible.
WHAT TO DO RIGHT AWAY
Step 1: Call the companies where you know fraud occurred
- Call the fraud department and explain someone stole your identity. Ask them to close or freeze the accounts
- Change all logins, password and PIN numbers for your accounts
Step 2: Place a fraud alert and get your credit reports
- For a free fraud alert, contact one of the three credit bureaus. The company you contact must tell the remaining two.
- 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)
- Get your free credit report from the credit bureaus at annualcreditreport.com
Step 3: Report identity theft to the FTC.
- Go to IdentityTheft.gov and include as many details as possible