Protecting yourself from identity theft

Online resources for identity theft victims:

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (all forms you'll need including an ID theft affidavit)
>> Website:

California Office of Privacy Protection
>> Website:

Federal Trade Commission: Identity Theft
>> Website:

Federal Trade Commission: Fighting Back Against Adentity Theft
>> Website:

Federal Trade Commission: File a complaint

Department of Justice: Identity Theft and Identity Fraud
>> Website:

California Office of Privacy Protection
>> Website:

Hi-Tech Crime: Protecting yourself in the computer age
>> Website:

The three credit bureaus are:

    Transunion: 1-800-680-7289
    Experian: 1-888-397-3742
    Equifax: 1-888-766-0008

If you're a victim of identity theft, you should:

  • Make sure to file a police report. That report will be the key to the rest of the notification process.
  • Make sure to place a fraud "alert" on your credit reports. By law, if you notify one credit bureau that you are an ID theft victim, they will notify the other two bureaus, and all three will send you notification that a fraud alert has been placed in your file.

    The alert typically expires after a certain period of time, so if you're really worried about someone accessing credit in your name, you can freeze your credit. You must make a credit freeze request in writing to each of the three credit bureaus. Once they receive that letter, each of the bureaus will send you a Personal Identification Number (PIN). You will also get instructions on how to lift the freeze in the event you are applying for credit. You can lift the freeze by phone, using your PIN.

    Please be aware that there may be fees incurred when you unfreeze your credit. Putting a freeze in place should be free for identity theft victims, but lifting the freeze could cost you about $10 or so.

    Related stories from ABC7 News:

  • Theft protection CEO has identity stolen
  • Blog: Identity theft resources

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