Identity theft is aggravating and mystifying: You don’t always know when your identity has been stolen, you’ll almost never know who did it, and you don’t know what the full consequences of the crime will be.
Every step you take after the crime to restore your good name — not to mention to find the perpetrator — can be trying. You could spend weeks or more getting back to a normal financial life.
As soon as you believe your identity has been stolen, you need to address the issue right away. If you’ve lost a bank card or notice something fishy on a financial statement, assume a theft has happened or is imminent and take action.
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Identity stolen? Take these 5 steps immediately
When cybercriminals steal your identity, it can seem overwhelming to get things back to normal. But immediate action can minimize the damage.
If you believe your identity has been stolen, address the issue right away. If you’ve lost a bank card or notice something fishy on a financial statement, assume theft has happened or is imminent and take action.
Five key steps to take ASAP
Take these steps for the best results and document everything you do.
Step 1 Call the bank and other companies where fraud occurred.
Step 2 Contact a credit agency to place a fraud alert.
Step 3 Report to the FTC to create an Identity Theft Affidavit.
Step 4 File a report with your local police department.
Step 5 Combine your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit with your police report to create an Identity Theft Report.
How to protect yourself from future identity theft
Once you have taken the steps above, start practicing good online habits to protect yourself so identity theft won’t happen again.
Install software and app updates.
Use strong passwords —and never give them out.
Secure your network
Beware of phishing emails.
© 2018 U.S. Bank.
U.S. Bank and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Your tax and financial situation is unique. You should consult your tax and/or legal advisor for advice and information concerning your particular situation.
If you’ve been a victim of identity theft or want to learn more about how to protect yourself from identity theft, visit U.S. Bank’s Online Security Center.