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If Your Identity Has Already Been Stolen, or You are Being Targeted by Criminals, Take All These Steps Immediately:

​The steps listed on this page assume that your identity has been completely compromised, to the point of someone else now having a driver’s license in your name (with their fraudulent address), someone opening credit accounts in your name, and your bank not believing you are who you say you are. These steps will help you get your identity back and hopefully recover from a traumatic experience. (If someone has just stolen your credit card information, that is not identity theft, and you do not need to take these steps; just contact your bank or credit card company.)

  1. Suggested: Buy a notebook for journaling all ID Theft related communications. You must keep track of the myriad of detailed communication that is about to take place! Write down notes from every conversation you have about this matter. Find a process that works for you.

  2. Contact your ID Theft Insurance company to walk you through the recovery process. They may perform many of the following steps for you.

    • If you don’t already have ID Theft Insurance, purchase it now. It may not help with negative events that have already happened but can help minimize further damage.

  3. You should make sure to perform all the steps on the page that tells how to “Protect Yourself from Identity Theft!”, including the “Optional” items listed there.

    • Depending on how far the thieves have gone in stealing your identity, you may want to take the extra steps listed on the “Credit Freeze Guide” on this website, including their "Credit Exposure Removal Guide":

  4. File an ID Theft Report with the FTC:  (They also have advice and plans for next steps.)

  5. Contact your local Sherriff’s department and fill out an ID Theft packet; then request a copy of the police report, including the case number. You will need this info to help reestablish your identity.

  6. Download a free copy of your credit report from all 3 major bureaus from  This will show you any current damage that needs to be corrected.

  7. Contact each financial institution affected by your ID theft to correct the fraudulent activity. Be ready to provide your police report case number.

  8. Prepare three letters to be sent via physical/snail-mail, one for each of the three major credit bureaus to dispute fraudulent accounts, fraudulent contact information, and fraudulent charges. Include the following info in the letter: 

    1. Your full name, date of birth, Social Security Number,

    2. Copy of your ID (driver’s license or State ID card),

    3. Copies of your recent bank statements and utility bills to validate your current address,

    4. A list of current and previous addresses (for at least the previous 2 years),

    5. Copy of any law enforcement reports, including case numbers,

    6. A detailed and notarized statement with all known details regarding your case of identity theft, including all items on your credit reports you believe to be fraudulent.

    7. Send a copy to each of the following:

      • Experian, P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013

      • TransUnion Consumer Solutions, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016-2000

      • Equifax Information Services LLC, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374

  9. NOTES for Dire Situations:

    • If your identity has been overtaken by thieves, then know that the local Social Security Administration office can change your SSN. This is not something they will offer easily, but they do have the authority to do so if your case warrants that level of action.

    • You can also get your driver’s license number changed by your State if needed.

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