- Bank account number, check card or credit card numbers, or access codes – Notify the bank(s) and close the account(s).
- Social Security number or card – Notify one of the three major credit reporting agencies and place a fraud alert on your credit report. A fraud alert can help prevent new credit accounts from being opened with your information. The agency contacted is required to notify the other agencies.
- Alert your bank – The law protects you from fraudulent transactions, but time limits apply based on the type of transaction.
- Report in writing – Most banks require the completion of a dispute form, but if not, follow up with a letter. Keep a copy of all correspondence.
- Close your account – Close your account and open a new one to prevent additional fraudulent transactions.
- File a police report – A police report may be required to substantiate your fraud claim, so file a police report and retain a copy.
- Contact the bank or creditor – The process for handling a fraud claim will vary by bank. Make sure you understand exactly what is expected from you, and what you can expect from the bank.
- Document your claim in writing – If the bank does not provide you with a fraud form, send a written letter via certified mail.
- Notify credit-reporting agencies – If fraudulent accounts appear on your credit report, file a dispute with each credit-reporting agency. Follow up in writing and include copies of your documentation, such as a police report, or credit report with fraudulent accounts circled.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit report – Notify the credit-reporting agencies and place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit report. These services can help prevent the opening of new credit accounts with your information. A fraud alert is a cautionary flag to creditors, while a security freeze is a more drastic measure that prevents access to your report. Explore the differences and decide which method is right for you by contacting the fraud department at the credit-reporting agencies.
- Monitor your credit report – Periodically check your credit report to make sure all fraudulent activity is removed, and that additional fraudulent activity has not occurred.
- Keep your documentation – At the conclusion of the investigation, ask the creditor for a document that states you are not responsible for the debt. Keep all notes and correspondence.