If you find you’ve become the victim of identity theft you’ll need to take several steps to defend yourself.
- Contact your financial institutions and credit card companies
Contact your financial institution right away to let them know that your identity has been stolen. They may recommend closing your accounts and issuing new credit/debit cards.
- Report it to the police
Identity theft is a crime. Report the identity theft to the police or sheriff in the area where you live. Ask the police to file a police report and give you a copy. Washington State law requires law enforcement agencies to create a report and provide you with a copy. You will need this to help correct your credit rating.
- Consider a security freeze or fraud alert
A security freeze means that your credit file cannot be shared with potential creditors. A fraud alert notifies that the credit bureaus to contact you when a new application for credit is submitted in your name. To request a security freeze or fraud alert contact any of the three major credit bureaus: Experian – www.experian.com, TransUnion www.transunion.com, or Equifax www.equifax.com.
Step by Step Guide for Victims
The Washington Office of the Attorney General has compiled a comprehensive step by step guide that explains what to do if you’re a victim.