While identity theft can happen to anyone, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk.
Identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number or other personal information to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund.
- Read your credit card and bank statements carefully and often
- Know your payment due dates so if a bill doesn’t show up when you expect it, look into it
- Read statements from your health insurance plan and make sure the claims paid match the care you received
- Shred any documents with your personal and financial information
- Review each of your three credit reports at least once a year by visiting annualcreditreport.com
- The IRS sends you a notice that is unexpected
- There are unfamiliar accounts on your credit report
- Unauthorized withdrawals are noticed on your bank account
- Bills are arriving at your home and they are not yours
- Strange phone calls about debts that you don’t owe
Act Quickly to Limit the Damage:
- Call the companies where you know fraud occurred
- Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and get copies of your report
- Report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- File a report with your local police department.
Repair the Damage:
- Close accounts opened in your name without your consent
- Report fraudulent charges to your credit or debit card companies
- Visit IdentityTheft.gov for help no matter what your specific identity theft situation is
For more prevention tips – and resources you can share with others – visit ftc.gov/idtheft