Contact the credit bureaus
If someone has stolen your identity, immediately take these steps:
- Contact the fraud department of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax).
- Have them flag your credit file with a fraud alert and include a statement that creditors should get your permission before opening new accounts in your name.
- Ask the credit bureaus for copies of your credit reports.
- Credit bureaus must give you a free copy of your report if it is inaccurate due to fraud.
- Review your reports and make sure no new fraudulent accounts have been opened.
- After a few months order new reports to verify corrections and changes and to make sure no more fraudulent activity has occurred.
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Contact the creditors
You will need to contact the creditors for any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Speak to someone in the fraud department and then follow up in writing. The letter is a part of the procedures spelled out in the Fair Credit Billing Act for resolving errors.
File a police report
You will need to file a report with the local police department where the identity theft took place. Keep a copy in case your creditors need proof of the crime. Information on filing a police report.
If your mail has been tampered with or stolen
If an identity thief steals your mail for access to new credit cards, bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, tax information or falsified change of address forms, they have committed a crime. Report it to your local post office as soon as possible.
Close compromised accounts
If an identity thief changes the billing address on an existing credit card account, close the account. When you open a new account ask for a password to be used before any inquiries or changes can be made to your account.
If an identity thief has accessed your bank accounts, checking account, or ATM card, then close the accounts immediately. When you open the new accounts insist on password-only access. If your checks have been stolen or misused, stop payment. If your ATM card is lost or compromised, cancel the card and get a new one with a new PIN code. For more information contact the Federal Deposit Corporation (FDIC).
Fraudulent use of your social security number
If an identity thief is using your social security number to apply for jobs, contact the Social Security Administration to verify the accuracy of the reported earnings and that your name is reported correctly.
Call 1-800-772-1213 to check your social security statement.
Asheville Police Department
Criminal Investigations Section
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday