6 Steps to Take if You Become a Victim of Identity Theft

During tax season, identity theft picks up. If you have become a victim of identity theft, contacting a credit bureau is not enough. The steps below, as outlined by the IRS, will help you get through the process easier .

1.File a report with law enforcement.

2.File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov or call the FTC Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338 or TTY 1-866-653-4261.

3.Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a ‘fraud alert’ on your credit records

a. Equifax, www.Equifax.com, 1-800-525-6285

b. Experian, www.Experian.com, 1-888-397-3742

c. TransUnion, www.TransUnion.com, 1-800-680-7289

4. Contact your financial institutions, and close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened without your permission.

5. Check your Social Security Administration Earnings Statement. You can create an account online at www.ssa.gov, and check it annually.

6. If your SSN is compromised and you know or suspect you are a victim of tax-related identity theft, take these additional steps:

a. Respond immediately to any IRS notice; call the number provided. The IRS will only contact you via mail. They do not call or email.

b. Complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. Use the fillable form, print, then mail or fax according to instructions.

c. Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by paper.