If you're a a victim:
Act fast. Identity theft can damage your credit rating. Report suspicious activities — such as unsolicited credit cards arriving in the mail — and monitor credit reports at least once a year for erroneous information.
Close all credit card accounts and destroy the cards.
Place a fraud alert on your credit reports. Fraud alerts can help prevent an identity thief from opening any more accounts in your name. Potential creditors must contact you before issuing a credit card.
Request a copy of your credit report. You are entitled to a free credit report every year. If you sign up for an extended fraud alert, you are entitled to up to two free credit reports from each of the three bureaus. Monitor your credit by requesting a credit report every six months after discovering the crime.
Equifax: 800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Experian: 888-397-3742; www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion: 800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790