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Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft
Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission. It is a serious crime that can wreak havoc with your finances, credit history, and reputation – and it can take time, money, and patience to resolve.
If you suspect that someone has stolen your identity, acting quickly is the best way to limit the damage. Setting things straight involves some work.
How can I tell that someone has stolen my information?
- You see unexplained withdrawals from your bank account
- You don’t get your bills or other mail
- Merchants refuse your checks
- Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours
- You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report
- Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use
- Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) notifies you that more than 1 tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for
- You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account
- You are arrested for a crime someone else allegedly committed in your name
What should I do if my information is lost or stolen, but my accounts don’t show any problems?
If your wallet, Social Security card, or other personal, financial, or account information is lost or stolen, contact the credit reporting companies and place a fraud alert on your credit file. Check your Kentucky Telco and other account statements for unusual activity. You may want to take additional steps, depending on what information was lost or stolen. For example, you can exercise your legal right to a free copy of your credit report.
If your information is lost in a data breach, the organization that lost your information will notify you and tell you about your rights. Generally, you may choose to:
• Place a fraud alert on your credit file
• Monitor your accounts for unusual activity
• Exercise your right to a free copy of your credit report
You may have other rights under state law.
- Place an Initial Fraud Alert
- Order Your Credit Reports
- Create an Identity Theft Report
For further information on what to do if your identity is stolen, please download the Federal Trade Commission’s complete guide.