Identity Theft has been the top consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission now for over 13 years running.
The FTC's annual look at its Consumer Sentinel Network Database of complaints shows the agency has received more than 120,000 identity theft complaints in the first quarter of 2019. The average loss from the misuse of a victim's personal information is more than $4,900.
If you are a victim, take these steps immediately:
1) Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, ask for a free copy of your credit report and review those reports for evidence of accounts you didn't open. Fraud unit contacts are:
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
2) Close accounts – including checks or ATM cards – that have been tampered with or used fraudulently. Contact all financial institutions and lenders, credit card issuers, utility companies and the Social Security Administration to notify them of the fraud. Follow up each conversation with a letter: file a report with law enforcement and insist on getting a copy of the report or the report number.
3) File a complaint with the FTC. Visit www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft for more information or call 877-IDTHEFT.
4) Check out our Identity Protection eCourse