Lost or Stolen Information
Did you get a notice that says a company lost your personal information in a data breach? Did you lose your wallet or learn that an online account was hacked? There are steps you should take to help protect yourself from identity theft, depending on what type of information was compromised.
Access your free online credit report.
What information was lost or stolen?
Social Security Number
- If a company responsible for exposing your information offers you free credit monitoring, take advantage of it.
- Check for any accounts or charges you don’t recognize.
- Consider placing a “credit freeze”. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. If you place a freeze, be ready to take a few extra steps the next time you apply for a new credit card or cell-or any service that requires a credit check.
- Try to file your taxes early-before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.
- Don’t believe anyone who calls and says you’ll be arrested unless you pay for taxes or debt-even if they have part or all of your Social Security number, or they say they’re from the IRS.
- Continue to check your credit reports. You can order a free report from each of the three credit reporting companies once a year.
Online Login or Password
- Log in to that account and change your password. If possible, also change your username. If you can’t log in, contact the company. Ask them how you can recover or shut down the account.
- If you use the same password anywhere else, change that too.
- Is it a financial site, or is your credit card number stored? Check your account for any charges that you don’t recognize.
Debit or Credit Card Number
- Contact your bank or credit card company to cancel your card and request a new one.
- Review your transactions regularly. Make sure no one misused your card. If you find fraudulent charges, call the fraud department and get them removed.
- If you have automatic payments set up, update them with your new card number.
Bank Account Information
- Contact your bank to close the account and open a new one.
- Review your transactions regularly to make sure no one misused your account. If you find fraudulent charges or withdrawals, call the fraud department and get them removed.
- If you have automatic payments set up, update them with your new bank account information.