Probably, the worst time to learn you have become a victim of identity theft will be in the evening or the weekend. In such circumstances, government offices will be closed, and most law firms will be closed. Unless you already have a relationship with a lawyer who happens to be available, you will not be able to speak to anyone until the next business day. The unavailability of resources only increases one's anxiety.
For this reason, the following represents steps you can take immediately at any time:
Temporary Fraud Alert
If you have become the victim of financial identity theft, you should immediately request that the credit bureaus place a temporary fraud alert on your reports. This will inform any new creditors that an issue has arisen with your identity and, hopefully, deny any future applications. However, you should know that this could also cause you to have some difficulties if you attempt to obtain any new credit, refinance, or engage in any activity that will require a credit report. Consequently, you should consider the potential effect and inconvenience this may cause. This is why we recommend only a temporary fraud alert.
You can request fraud alerts at the following locations:
If you place an alert with one of the major credit bureaus, it should inform the remaining two.
You may want to consider filing a police report. You should not necessarily expect the police to immediately initiate an investigation. However, by filing a police report, you will create a record of the fraud. This could help in later endeavors to repair credit reports and remove other items caused by the identity theft.
You may also complete an FTC identity theft affidavit which can be obtained here
. As with police, you should not expect the FTC to react to your individual situation. Rather, it represents another means to create a report and record of the identity theft.