Recovering from identity theft is understandably a frustrating and tedious undertaking. It can stress you out and if this happens, take a short breather then immediately take action in order to lessen further damage and inconvenience on your part.
The very first thing you need to do is to make the crime known. Inform your creditors and ask them to urgently close any fraudulent or suspicious accounts. Secondly, send the the three national credit reporting agencies a notification of what happened.
They can be reached at the following numbers: Experian® at 1-888-397-3742 (this number has an electronic menu: You cannot talk to anyone at Experian until you have a copy of your credit report, which includes a report number to reach a live representative), Equifax at 1-800-270-3435 and TransUnion at 1-800-680-7289.
Your fraud alert on Experian will stay in their system for ninety (90) days. Expect to receive a complimentary copy of your personal credit report from all three national credit report agencies.
To keep you from experiencing further fraud, make sure you have removed your name from all prescreened offer mailing lists. Tips on how to recover from fraud will also be provided to you by the credit reporting agencies.
You may also request that a fraud alert message be added to your personal credit report for an extended period of time, maximum of seven years. This fraud alert message says, “Fraudulent applications may be submitted in my name using correct personal information. Do not extend credit without first contacting me personally and verifying all applicant information at (your day phone number) or (your evening phone number). Date reported-(mm/yy).” If you choose this message option, all three agencies will provide you with a complimentary credit report each month for three months allowing you to monitor your report for any fraudulent and unusual activity.
For more great credit tips and news tune in to The Graceful Credit Show live every Sunday at 3:00pm EST on WCHB News Talk AM 1200.
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