How to check your credit report:
- You can get your credit report for free at Annual Credit Report or call (877) 322-8228.
- Make sure to check your credit report at least once a year to look for suspicious activity. If you find something that looks wrong, call your creditor right away.
- Subscribe to a credit protection service, like Experian's CreditCheck. This alerts you whenever something changes on your credit report.
Review your credit and debit card statements:
Check these carefully every month. Make sure you recognize the stores, locations and purchases listed before paying the bill. If you bank online, check your statement every month.
If you find a mistake:
- Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus.
- Tell them that you're an identity theft victim.
- Request that a "fraud alert" be placed in your file, along with a victim's statement. This makes creditors have to call you before opening any new accounts or changing your existing information.
- Call creditors and tell them about any accounts in your name that have been affected. Ask to speak with someone in the security or fraud department.
- Follow up with a letter.