Information from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

What To Do If You Are A Victim Of Identity Theft

Share: Print

Contact Your Credit Card Company/Bank or Credit Union

  • Call the fraud department of your credit card or bank. Explain to them your identity has been stolen.
  • Ask them to close or freeze the accounts.
  • Change logins, passwords, and PINs for your accounts

Consider Placing A Fraud Alert or Security Freeze On Your Credit Reports

A fraud alert is free and will make it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name.

To place a fraud alert, contact one of the three credit bureaus. That company must tell the other two.

You may also want to consider a security freeze. A security freeze is even stronger than a fraud alert and prevents your files from being shared with potential creditors. A security freeze can help prevent identity theft since most businesses will not open credit accounts without checking a consumer's credit history first. You, too, will not be able to open new credit while a freeze is in place. Individuals can request that a freeze be temporarily lifted for the purpose of obtaining new credit.

Check Your Free Credit Report

Check your credit reports for any signs of fraud and dispute them immediately with the financial institution itself or with the credit bureau.

If you have already ordered your free credit reports for the year, you can pay to get your report immediately or wait for the fraud alert confirmation letter from each credit bureau.

Report Identity Theft to the Federal Trade Commission

Based on information your enter, IdentityTheft.gov will create your Identity Theft Report and recovery plan.

Your Identity Theft Report is important because it guarantees you certain rights.

Consider Filing A Police Report

Go to your local police office with:

  • Copy of your FTC Identity Theft Report
  • Government-issued ID with a photo
  • Any proof you have of the theft - bills, notices, etc.

If you file a police report, be sure to get a copy of it. You may need this later on.

Continue To Monitor Your Financial and Credit Reports

  • Continue to monitor your financial accounts
  • Continue to monitor your credit reports
  • Dispute and report any fraudulent charges right away

Additional Resources