What to do if someone takes your identity
Authored By: Iowa Legal Aid
Step 1: Contact the consumer reporting agencies
Equifax – 1-800-525-6285
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Experian – 1-888-397-3742
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013-2104
Trans Union – 1-800-680-7289
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000
- This requires other companies to take reasonable steps to verify that you are the consumer before allowing credit to be given in your name.
- You make a call to only one of the above agencies asking them to place an alert on your credit.
- This usually lasts for 90 days and should not cost you any money.
- This means no one is granted credit in your name, including you.
- You write a letter to all three agencies asking them to freeze your credit.
- There is the possibility of fees, as this will last until you write to end it.
Step 2: Contact the companies that extended credit to you
Step 3: File a complaint with the FTC
- You will need to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can do this online at their website – www.ftc.gov/idtheft or call them at 1-877-438-4338.
- Making a complaint will create an “identity theft affidavit.” Print it out. This is very important paperwork. Keep it in a safe place until you complete Step 4.
Step 4: File a police report
- Once you have followed Steps 1-4, you should have some paperwork. The Identity Theft affidavit from the FTC and the police report together make an “Identity Theft Report.” Some creditors will require proof that a crime was committed. You can send this report to the creditors’ fraud departments. The report proves to creditors that you are not responsible for certain credit taken out in your name. You should also send them a written letter disputing the charges.
- Mail a copy of the report to the consumer reporting agencies listed in Step 1. Within 4 business days of accepting the report, the agencies should remove the identity theft-related information from your credit report.