The Federal Trade Commission has launched a new website, IdentityTheft.gov, to help victims report and recover from identity theft.
The website is set up in an interactive checklist, designed to make it easier for victims to report and recover from these incidents. Each step will help you along the recovery process and help you understand which recovery steps should be taken upon learning your identity has been stolen. The site also provides sample letters and other helpful resources.
You’ll start by calling the companies where you know the fraud occurred, cancel or freeze credit accounts, change passwords, place a fraud alert with the three major credit bureaus, then fill out an FTC identity theft report to let them know what’s going on. Best of all, each of the steps includes all the links, forms, and phone numbers you’ll need to actually accomplish each task. By the time you work your way through the steps, you’ll actually have done a lot to protect yourself from further harm.
In addition, the site offers specialized tips for specific forms of identity theft, including tax-related and medical identity theft. The site also has advice for people who have been notified that their personal information was exposed in a data breach.