Over 15 million people in the US experience identity theft every single year. This theft results in $50 billion in financial losses over the year, which equates to 4.5% of all US residents, with an average loss of $3,500 (1). In the event of a suspected or known identity theft, here is a brief checklist that will help better protect you and your family against potential losses:
Contact Ascend Advisory Group (Wells Fargo Advisors) – 614-784-6000
Report any new accounts that were opened.
Report any suspected activity on all of your accounts, including checking, savings, credit cards, brokerage accounts, and loan originators
Confirm your contact information is accurate and no new accounts, cards, or loans, have been opened in your name
Close accounts that have been compromised
Change your online usernames and passwords
Have them be unique to each login location.
Do not include personal information such as your name, phone number, or email address in your username or password.
Use numbers and special characters in your username and password.
Place a fraud alert or credit freeze on your credit report
Contact one of the three credit bureaus. The bureau you contact will notify the others to add the fraud alert or credit freezes to your report.
Fraud alerts and credit freezes are free to put into place and it will require creditors to verify your identity before opening any new accounts in your name or making any changes to existing accounts.
Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 (www.equifax.com)
Experian: 1-888-397-3742 (www.experian.com)
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289 (www.transunion.com)
Monitor your credit
Request a free copy of your credit report from one of the bureaus or www.annualcreditreport.com
If you notice incorrect information you believe to be fraudulent, file a dispute with the applicable credit reporting agencies.
Identity theft resolutions can take considerable time to be fully resolved, therefore continue to be diligent and frequently monitor your credit.
Contact other creditors
Contact other companies to let them know of the potential fraud.
Such as: credit card companies, utility and phone/internet providers, bank, lenders, and other financial institutions.
File a report with your local police department
A police report provides proof of criminal activity which may help when contacting creditors to dispute charges or accounts opened in your name. Make sure to obtain a copy of the police report for your own records.
Report the criminal activity to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Call 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338) to speak with a qualified identity theft counselor.
This can also be done online at www.identitytheft.gov
Contact the other State and Federal agencies as appropriate
Department/Bureau of Motor Vehicles (DMV/BMV): Report to them if you know or believe your driver’s license or identification was stolen or that someone is using your name and information.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS): If you are a victim of tax-related identity theft or you believe someone has filed a fraudulent tax return in your name, follow this guide: www.irs.gov/newsroom/taxpayer-guide-to-identity-theft
Postal Inspection Service: If you believe your mail was stolen or redirected, report it at: www.uspis.report
Social Security fraud hotline: If you suspect someone is using you Social Security number for fraudulent purposes, call 1-800-269-0271 or visit: www.ssa.gov/antifraudfacts
U.S. Department of State: If your passport is lost or stolen, report it at: www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/have-passports/lost-stolen.html
Continue to diligently monitor all of your accounts!
(1) Source: https://www.crimemuseum.org/
This information is intended for use only by residents of (AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WI, WV). Please consult with each individual Financial Advisor listed on this site to understand what states they are licensed to transact business. For parties residing outside of the U.S., this information is: (i) provided for informational purposes only, (ii) not and should not be construed in any manner as an offer to participate in any investment or to buy or sell any securities or related financial instruments, and (iii) not and should not be construed in any manner as a public offering of any financial services, securities or related financial instruments. Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (WFAFN). Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC and WFAFN, Members SIPC, separate registered broker-dealers and non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company. Any other referenced entity is a separate entity from WFAFN.