ID Theft Resources
While prevention is the best protection against Identity Theft, knowing what to do if it happens is the difference between being a victim and not. Below are five steps to take immediately if you think your identity has been stolen:
Step 1: Freeze Your Credit Report
Request an annual copy of your credit report from each of the three National credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) for free from www.annualcreditreport.com. During COVID-19, the three agencies are offering free weekly online reports through April 2021. Visit Annual Credit Report.com for more information.
If you are viewing the report online, the simplest way to initiate a dispute is to click on the "Initiate Dispute" button or link on "How to Initiate Dispute". The credit reporting agency website will walk you through what steps to take in order protect your credit, depending on the level of fraud. There are three types of Fraud Alerts: Initial Fraud Alert = 90 days. Extended Fraud Alert or Security Freeze = 7 years. Active Duty Military Alert = 1 year. The Extended Fraud Alert or Security Freeze may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make that involves access to your credit report. For complete information on how to freeze your credit reports, visit the three reporting agencies for more details.
Step 2: Contact Your Bank
Contact your bank to let them know you've become a victim of fraud. If you think your credit card was stolen as well, and the bank is not the card issuer, contact the issuer in addition to your bank. This step is easier if you have prepared and made a list of institutions to contact and their phone numbers. Don't include account numbers on this list, as that would be one more way for a thief to steal your identity. Do keep a list of what's in your wallet, so if it's stolen you know exactly who to contact. One suggestion is to photocopy what is in your wallet and keep in your safety deposit box or safe.
Step 3: Contact the FTC
File an Identity Theft Affidavit and an Identity Theft Report with the FTC. You can also file this report by calling 877-438-4338. The FTC will provide you with information on what to do next, depending on what specific type of fraud occurred. Additional information on what to do if your identity is stolen can be found on the FTC’s website.
Step 4: File a Police Report
In order to complete the report in Step 3, you'll need to contact your local police office and report the theft. Obtain a copy of the police report or the report number for future reference. The completed FTC Identity Theft Report will help you when you work with the credit reporting agencies or other companies where the thief has used your identity to open accounts.
Step 5: Protect Your Social Security Number
If you suspect your social security number may have been compromised, contact the Social Security Administration (800-269-0271) and the IRS (800-829-0433). This step is important if you think your SSN has been stolen, even if you haven't seen any fraudulent activity yet. The thief may be planning to wait until April and then steal your tax refund or may seek employment under your name.
In today's world, whether in person or online, fraud and/or theft occurs frequently. There are many ways you can prevent fraud or identity theft in your own life. AbbyBank will never ask you to share your personal information through social media, email, or text messaging. Please do not respond to any communication that asks for information such as your account numbers, passwords, or any other personal identification information. AbbyBank is committed to safeguarding your information when doing transactions with us online. Please report any suspicious activity to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-800-288-2229. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has information on what to do if you receive notice that your personal information might have been exposed due to a data breach, a lost wallet, or your online account was hacked. Depending on what information was lost will determine the next steps you need to take.