Steps to Take if Your Identity is Stolen
One of the most costly and time-consuming forms of theft is identity theft. This happens when someone who isn’t you is able to gain access to your identifying information – including your Social Security Number, financial account information, credit card information, and more. One of the worst parts about identity theft is most people won’t know it’s happened until the damage has already been done. Nearly a third of all Americans have experienced identity theft, and 1 in 5 people have experienced it more than once. It’s important to know the warning signs so you know what to look out for, and what steps to take in the unfortunate event that identity theft ever happens to you.
What to Look For
If you know the warning signs to look out for, the better chance you have at catching identity theft early. Keep an eye out for:
- Errors on your account – these may be purchases that are unfamiliar to you or charges on your credit card that you did not make
- Credit cards or other accounts on your credit report that you did not apply for
- Denied credit applications that you think you should have qualified for
- Missing mail – this could indicate that someone has changed your address without your knowledge
This is why it’s so important to stay on top of your account activity. One easy way to do this is through . You can monitor your account anytime, anywhere, and you can set up so you’ll be the first to know of any activity on your account. You should also review your credit report annually to check for any unauthorized uses of your information or other suspicious activity. You are entitled to one free credit report each year from . Report any errors to the credit bureaus to have them removed from your report.
What to Do Next
If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, act quickly. The faster you act, the better your chances are to avoid further damage.
- Immediately contact your financial institution and other credit companies to let them know of any fraudulent activity on your account, lost/stolen checks, or lost/stolen debit or credit cards. If you misplace your Robins Financial debit or credit card, you can report it lost/stolen through . You can also turn your debit and credit cards on and off through Robins Financial’s .
- Place a fraud alert on your credit report with one of the three credit reporting agencies. The agency you contact will confirm your report and notify the other two.
- Equifax – 800-525-6285
- Experian – 888-397-3742
- TransUnion – 800-680-7289
- File a report with your local law enforcement agency. Ask for a case or incident number and a copy of the report. Having the police report can help clear up your credit records, and some financial institutions may require a copy of the report.
- Report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at or by phone at 877-438-4338.
At Robins Financial, the safety and security of our members is a top priority. Keeping your accounts protected is even easier when we work together, which is why it’s so important to be vigilant with . Review our for more tips, and watch our . To learn more about how we protect our members every day and how you can protect yourself, or stop by any of our .