If you’ve suffered from a stolen identity, you’re probably wondering how to recover from identity theft. It may seem like a stressful situation, but as long as you take a breath and follow the checklist below, you’ll be on your way to identity theft recovery:
- Report the identity theft
- Close accounts
- Remove fraudulent charges from record
- Replace any lost/stolen IDs
- Correct your credit report
If you’re suffering from tax identity theft, child identity theft, or medical identity theft, make sure you follow the special instructions for recovering from those unique identity thefts.
One thing is for sure though, LoanMart may get you the emergency cash you need with title loans1. What are title loans? Title loans can be the fast cash you need to recover from identity theft, but first, we will let you know what to do during the event of an identity theft.
What to Do Right Away
- Call the companies where the fraud occurred
The first thing you want to do after you’ve realized your identity has been stolen is to call the fraud department and companies where the fraud occurred. Explain to them that your identity has been stolen, and you need them to close or freeze the accounts. This way, you don’t have to worry about new charges occurring as you’re trying to figure out everything.
Also, make sure you change any logins, passwords, or PINS of your accounts so the thief cannot get into your account again. The fraud department phone number is 1-800-680-7289.
- Get your credit report and place a fraud alert
Using any of the three credit bureaus, you can place a free, 90-day fraud alert with:
If you haven’t used it yet, you can use your 1 free credit report that you get each year from any of the three credit bureaus.
- Report the identity theft to the FTC
You can use their online form or call 1-877-438-4338 to report the identity theft to the FTC. You could also report it to your local police department.
How to Recover from Identity Theft
- Close any new accounts opened in your name
You’ll need to call each fraud department of each business where an account had been opened in your name. Simply explain to the department your identity was stolen. Ask them to close the account and send a letter explaining it was closed, and that you aren’t liable for the charges. Collect a letter from the business confirming the removed charges.
- Remove any fraudulent charges from your accounts
Similar to the above process, you’ll want to call the fraud department of each business where a purchase was made. Explain to them your identity was stolen and the charges are fraudulent. Have them send you a confirmation letter about the removal of the charges.
- Correct your credit report
To correct your credit report, you’ll have to write to all three of the credit bureaus. Explain to them that your identity has been stolen, if they aren’t already aware, and report back to them on what charges/card openings need to be blocked off of your credit report.
- Consider extending your fraud alert or credit freeze
If you contacted one of the credit bureaus and froze your account or set a fraud alert, you might want to consider extending it until all the charges are sorted out. To extend the fraud alert, it’s free and will last up to 7 years or whenever you decide to remove it before then. An extended credit freeze will cost depending on the credit bureau, but it will last until you decide to remove it.
Other Precautionary Steps
- Report your misused Social Security number
If you’ve lost your Social Security card or it was stolen, you can replace it by applying online for a free replacement card. If you think someone is using your Social Security number for work, you can review your work history by creating an account at online. Then, you can contact your local SSA office if there are errors.
- Stop debt collectors
If you’ve received a letter from debt collectors trying to collect the fraudulent debt, reply to them with a letter within 30 days of receiving your notice. Explain that your identity has been stolen with copies of the Identity Theft Report. Contact any businesses you owe debt to and explain they were fraudulent charges. Also, ask the credit bureaus to block the charge.
- Replace government IDs
Apply online to replace your Social Security card or head over to your local DMV to replace your driver’s license.
- Clear criminal charges
Sometimes, the identity thief can be caught and brought to court. If the court prosecutes the thief, ask for the records to keep them for your personal files. If by some chance someone is arrested using your name or information, you’ll want to contact the law enforcement agency to retrieve a “clearance letter”.
Special Identity Theft
- Tax Identity Theft
Tax Identity Theft is when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund. You’ll want to contact the IRS and fill out their unique identity theft form. Continue to file your taxes like you normally would and pay what you would owe. Keep copies of any letters you send, and make sure to contact one of the credit bureaus.
- Child Identity Theft
If someone used your child’s information to commit fraud, you are a victim of Child Identity Theft. All the steps are very similar to a normal identity theft checklist except you’ll need to include a Minor’s Status Declaration when contacting different companies’ fraud departments.
- Medical Identity Theft
Medical Identity Theft occurs when someone uses your Social Security information to get medical services. Contact any doctors, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories, and health plans where the thief used your information and ask for copies of the records. Complete any request forms and fees to obtain the records. Then, you’ll want to check your state’s health privacy laws.
You’ll want to notify your health care provider and health insurer of any errors in your records. Like before, notify all three credit bureaus for any medical billing errors.
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