Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. If you are the victim of identity theft, file a report in the community where the identity theft took place. Get a copy of the report or the Call For Service number to submit to your bank and/or creditors as proof of the crime. Contact the fraud departments of any one of the 3 consumer reporting companies to place a fraud alert on your credit report.
The fraud alert tells creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts. You only need to contact 1 of the 3 companies to place an alert. The company you call is required to contact the other 2, at which time an alert will also be placed on their versions of your credit report. Once you place the fraud alert in your file, you are entitled to free copies of your credit reports.