Broker Check

What to Do If Your Identity is Stolen

December 14, 2022

Annually, 15 million people in the US experience identity theft.

As we all know, identity theft is a serious financial issue. 

Many of the steps you take with identity theft are similar to having your wallet stolen, but generally, thieves who steal your wallet are planning for one or two purchases, and then they may toss the wallet. Identity theft is far more invasive into your personal finances and should be treated with a higher level of concern.

There’s plenty of information on how to avoid ID theft . . . and not enough information on what to do if you are a victim. While we hope you never need this information, we encourage you to keep a copy of the following steps handy for quick reference. If identity theft occurs, acting quickly may help you manage the damage.

Notify the following:

  • Your bank(s) – ask your bank to put a temporary freeze on all debit card transactions
  • The major credit bureaus:
  • Your local law enforcement; be sure to get your complaint number or a copy of your report.
  • The DMV – if your license is stolen, take your police report with you when you go to the DMV for a replacement and ask them to attach a copy of the report to your records.
  • The IRS – contact the Social Security Administration or call 800-269-0271 if you suspect someone is using your Social Security number.
  • Medical insurance providers.

And . . .

  • Keep copies and records of all your correspondence relating to the ID theft.
  • Consider placing a "security freeze" at each of the three major credit reporting agencies to prevent unauthorized new credit from being opened for you by contacting them at the numbers above. 
  • Review all your credit reports, credit cards, and bank statements. Report suspicious activity and unauthorized charges immediately by both phone and certified mail.

We hope this is helpful information that you file away but never need to reference.