What to Do If You Are the Victim of Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information to impersonate you. Many times, the identity thief will fraudulently open accounts or obtain access to your finances. If you are the victim of identity theft, there are steps you can take to try and minimize the damage. 

Contact First Bank & Trust

Contact us immediately (800.843.1552) to discuss your options for protecting yourself including Fraud Alerts, Passwords, or an Identity Theft product.

If you believe your accounts have been compromised or opened fraudulently, have them closed immediately. When you open a new account, use different passwords and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs).

Contact Other Creditors

If you have accounts at other financial institutions, banks, or creditors contact them as soon as possible to let them know of potential fraud or identity theft.

Contact the Credit Bureaus

There are three nationwide credit reporting companies that keep your credit history. Contact one of the companies to report that you are a victim of identity theft. You only need to contact one reporting company, which will notify the other two companies.

  • Equifax: 800.525.6285
  • Experian: 888.397.3742
  • TransUnion: 800.680.7289

Request that a fraud alert be placed on your credit file. Placing a fraud alert is free and will stay on your credit report for 90 days. It can be renewed after 90 days.

Consider placing a credit freeze with the credit bureaus. A credit freeze restricts access to your credit report, making it more difficult for criminals to open credit lines in your name.

Request a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting companies, as the information can be different. As a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting companies.

Review your credit reports for fraudulent activity.  If fraud is detected, contact the financial institutions, banks, or creditors reporting the fraudulent activity. Also, send a letter to each reporting company explaining the discrepancies you have found.

Remember that the credit reporting companies may need to contact you so make sure they have your current contact information. Keep all documentation of when you sent letters or made phone calls.

Submit a Complaint with the Federal Trade Commission

Contact the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC’s) Identity Theft Helpline: 877.ID.THEFT (877.438.4338) or submit a complaint online at: ftccomplaintassistant.gov

Once you submit your complaint, an Identity Theft Complaint Affidavit will generate. Print a copy of the affidavit.

File a Police Report

Contact your local police department to file a report. Creditors may require this as proof of criminal activity.

Bring credit reports, statements, collection letters, and a copy of the Identity Theft Affidavit submitted with the FTC as supporting documentation.

 

As always, be vigilant about monitoring you accounts. Review your account statements to spot any suspicious transactions. You can also monitor your account activity online at any time at www.bankeasy.com. If you spot any suspicious transactions, please contact us immediately at 800.843.1552.