5 Steps to Take When You're a Victim of Identity Theft

With the holiday season officially over, it’s time to review all of those purchases you made on Black Friday and leading up to Christmas Day.


An unfortunate reality of the busy, holiday season is identity theft. With so many credit card and online purchases, you should be very cautious of this theft.

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Falling victim to identity theft can be unsettling. Many people don’t know where to begin to restore their good name and credit, what to do, or who to call.

With more than 13 million identity theft victims a year, there’s a good chance this crime could impact you. Know there are five important steps to take if identity theft strikes.

  1. File a police report.

    This is the first step to take if there is any indication of identity theft. Many fraud departments will require a copy of this report to validate a customer’s status as an identity theft victim.

  2. Place a fraud alert with credit bureaus.

    Fraud alerts signal creditors to verify a person’s identity before authorizing a new credit account in his or her name. Place 90-day alerts offered by Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

  3. Get a free credit report.

    Review your credit at no cost by contacting www.annualcreditreport.com

  4. Cancel all credit and debit cards.

    Do this sooner rather than later. Tip: This will go faster if you keep an up to date list of credit and debit cards at home in a secure location.

  5. Contact other providers.

    Call insurance carriers, libraries, gyms, and any other locations where customers may have a membership.

Overall, it’s important this time of year to keep an eye on all of your bank accounts, credit card statements, and online purchases to ensure you aren’t the next victim of identity theft.

Source: Pekin Insurance

Reghan Edwards