First 11 Things Every ID Theft Victim Should Do

(WGGB) — Various scams and cybersecurity attacks have been hitting banks hard in recent weeks. When a consumer falls victim to a scam, their credit score can also take a hit. ABC40′s Tom Lewis and Emily Volz spoke with Steve Weisman, an attorney and professor at Bentley University, about how to turn that credit score around.

Weisman offers the following 11 steps to take if you find out you’re a victim of identity theft:

1. Notify each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) of the identity theft and request that a credit freeze be put on your account so that no one can access your credit report without your authorization even if they have your Social Security number or other personal information. (Go to for directions as to how to accomplish this.)

2. Report the crime to the appropriate law enforcement authorities where you live and where the fraud occurred. Use the FTC’s ID Theft Affidavit, which can be found on the FTC’s website

3. Inform all your creditors that you have become a victim of identity theft

4. Get new credit cards with new account numbers for all tainted accounts.

5. Set up complex passwords for each of your new accounts.

6. Change your PINs.

7. When you closed tainted accounts, make sure that the accounts are reported to the credit-reporting agencies as being closed at the customer’s request due to identity theft to avoid lowering of your credit score.

8. Ask your creditors to notify each of the credit-reporting agencies to remove erroneous and fraudulent information from your file.

9. Contact the creditors who have tainted accounts in your name and request that they initiate a fraud investigation. Get a copy of the completed investigation.

10. Send copies of those completed investigations to each of the credit-reporting agencies and request that erroneous and fraudulent information be removed from your files.

11. If fraudulent charges do appear on your credit report, notify the credit-reporting agencies in writing and tell them that you dispute the information and request that such information be removed from your files.

Monday, ABC40 will have experts from Cambridge Credit Counseling here to take your calls and your questions. You will also have the opportunity to come down to our Liberty Street studios to meet with one of the Cambridge Credit representatives in-person. 40 Force: Credit Check, Monday, only on ABC40.

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