I believe I have been a victim of identity theft. How can I clear my name?
If you think your identity has been stolen, take these steps immediately:
- Contact the fraud department of any one of the three major credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert on your credit file. The fraud alert requires businesses to take extra steps to verify your identity before extending new credit or issuing a new card related to an existing account. (Once one of the credit reporting agencies confirms your fraud alert, the other two bureaus will be automatically notified to place fraud alerts.)
- Order a free copy of your credit report from all three major credit reporting agencies after you have placed a fraud alert. The special toll-free numbers for the fraud departments are: Equifax (800) 525-6285, Experian (1-888-397-3742), and Trans Union (1-800-680-7289).
- Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Use the ID Theft Affidavit when disputing unauthorized accounts.
- File a police report. Submit a copy of the police report to your creditors and others that may require proof of the possible crime.
- File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC maintains a database for use by law-enforcement agencies for investigations of identity theft cases. Filing a complaint also helps the FTC learn more about identity theft and the problems victims face. This information helps them to provide better assistance to you and other victims of identity theft. Call the toll-free number: (877) IDTHEFT (that is, (800) 438-4338).
The FTC also maintains the U.S. government's central website for information about identity theft.
Visit the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's (OCC) Fighting Identity Theft page for a list of other federal resources set up to fight identity theft.
Last Reviewed: October 2020
Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on HelpWithMyBank.gov should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.