Realizing your identity has been stolen is never a good feeling. Often times, it’s overwhelming and difficult to know where to start. HomeTown Bank employees are here to assist you with any processes dealing with your bank accounts and can provide additional guidance to make sure all of your bases are covered.
With our handy Identity Theft Repair Checklist, you can be sure that you’re taking all the steps you need to secure your identity and protect your credit.
Contact Three Major Credit Bureaus First
While all of the major credit bureaus are seemingly the same, it’s important to make sure every detail is covered. Sometimes, one bureau can uncover something the others haven’t. When you call Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, make sure first report that you are a victim of identity theft and place a fraud alert and a credit freeze on your credit files. You can also request a free copy of your credit report. If you have fraud on your file, you can notify the credit bureaus and any companies in which the fraud occurred.
Contact HomeTown Bank
Once you’ve taken the first steps to place a fraud alert and freeze on your credit, it’s important to notify your bank. Call HomeTown Bank’s Customer Care Center at 540-345-6000 to notify our team that you’ve been a victim of identity theft and whether there has been any fraudulent activity on your HomeTown Bank accounts. It’s important to let us know of any unauthorized transactions, address changes, PIN changes, or new cards ordered on all of your accounts – that way, we can immediately begin our work in rectifying these changes and preventing any more fraudulent activity from occurring.
We will encourage you to close any accounts that have been breached and reopen them with new account numbers, passwords, and PINs. Repeat these steps with any other banks or creditors with which you have accounts.
Report Identity Theft to FTC
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has an Identity Theft Recovery Program where you can report your identity theft and build a guided, personal recovery plan that’s catered to your accounts and financial situation. They will walk you through each step of recovery and provide you with any updates on your credit, financial activity, and recovery as you go.
File a Police Report
If you know where the fraud occurred, contact the local police department and ask to have a copy, or the file number of the police report. It’s important to notify local law enforcement so that if and when the culprit is identified, you will already be on file and bringing them to justice will be an easier process.
Notify Other Agencies As Appropriate
We often don’t realize how many organizations our finances are tied to until we truly experience identity theft. Beyond your financial institutions, there are a few other key players that need to be notified. If you believe your mail was stolen or compromised, contact the Postal Inspection Service to begin an investigation. You should also call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271 if you think your identity was compromised with your social security number. Finally, contact the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if you believe someone is attempting to or has obtained your driver’s license or ID card using your information.
Continue To Monitor Your Account
Since fraud can sometimes take time to develop and resolve, you need to remain diligent in safeguarding your account and regularly reviewing all of the charges that appear on your account. While there are many apps and services you can set up to alert you of suspicious activity, nothing is as dependable as your own eyes and memory. Be sure to keep notes of all the steps you’ve taken with any report tracking numbers, account changes, etc. You will likely need them to reference as things are resolved.