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  4. How to respond when you discover you’re a victim of identity theft

If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, you should contact one of the consumer reporting agencies listed below to place a fraud alert on your credit report. You only need to contact one of the three credit reporting companies to place an alert.

  • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
  • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
  • Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013

Follow these steps:

Step 1. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports.
Step 2. Order your credit report. If you file a fraud alert you’re entitled to a free report.
Step 3. Review the credit report and make notes on any activity that you do not recognize.
Step 4. Notify the creditors or companies involved that you were a victim of fraud and follow-up in writing.

Note: Remember to record the dates, times and people you’ve contacted so you have a proper timeline of events that can help you resolve the fallout from identity theft.

The Federal Trade Commission has a great ID Theft Protection Resource to inform and provide information on what to do when ID theft happens.

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