3. Ask a consumer reporting agency to issue a fraud alert
Question & AnswerWhat can I do if identity theft happens to me?
A fraud alert stays on your credit file for 6 years. It costs about $5.00 per agency if you are not already a victim of . If you are already a victim, the consumer reporting agencies do not charge you for the fraud alert. The consumer reporting agencies can tell you if you are considered a victim of identity theft.
TransUnion’s Fraud Victim Assistance Department can help you understand how to place a fraud alert.
When a issues a fraud alert, anyone who checks your will see that your identity may have been stolen. This means your creditors can then take steps to check your identity when someone tries to use your identity or accounts.
In order to place a fraud alert with Equifax, you must call them at 1-800-465-7166
For TransUnion, you can ask for a fraud alert by phone or by mail at:
P.O. Box 338, LCD 1
Getting your credit report
You should also ask them to send you a copy of your credit report. They must mail you a free copy of your report once per year if you ask them to. You can also get your report online, but you might have to pay for that.
Contact both agencies to find out what information they have on you in their records. Sometimes they may have different information.
Review your credit reports to see if the identity thief used your name to open any accounts or borrow any money.
If you see a new account that you did not open, tell the consumer reporting agency right away. They have to try to fix the error, and send updated copies of the report to anyone who ordered them within the last 6 months.