of Chicago

Identity Theft/Fraud Alert

It is suggested that you take the following steps if you feel that your identity has, in any way, been compromised.
  1. Notify the three major credit bureaus listed below and have them place a 'Fraud Alert' on your account.  Note that the fraud alert may expire after 90 days and you may need to renew it.

  2. Notify your credit card issuers and alert them to not issue any new cards or change your address without first contacting you directly. 

  3. Notify your bank(s) of the possibility of identity theft and ask them for suggestions as to how they handle identity theft cases.

  4. Put a passphrase or password on your credit/debit card accounts and your bank accounts so verification is needed before changing anything.

  5. If your identity has been stolen, file a police report.

  6. Got to IRS.GOV and fill out form 14039.

  7. File a report with the Social Security Administration's fraud line at 1-800-269-0271.

  8. Go to the US Government's web site for additional information.
P.O. Box 9532,
Allen, TX 75013
1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
Fraud Victim Assistance Division
 P.O. Box 6790,
 Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
P.O. Box 740241,
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Some additional suggestions even if your identity is not currently threatened:

1. The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your checkbook, they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks.

2. When you sign the back of your credit cards add "PHOTO ID REQUIRED."

3. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check-processing channels will not have access to it.

4. Never have your SS# printed on your checks, (DUH!). You can add it if it is necessary. However, if you have it printed, anyone can get it.

5. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. Also carry a photocopy of your passport when traveling either here or abroad. We have all heard horror stories about fraud that is committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security number and/or credit cards.

A comparison of credit reporting agencies with ratings for Credit Monitoring, Credit Reports, Credit Scores, Report Content, On-line Tools, Support, Learning Materials and Mobile support can be found at  

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