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Stolen or Unauthorized Credit Card Charges

Follow each step to begin the process of clearing your name:

1 Organize Your Case

Keep a detailed log in a spiral notebook of all phone calls you receive or make including the name of the person you spoke with, that person’s title, phone number, organization name, and what was said during the conversation. Whenever possible ask to speak with a fraud investigator. Don't end the call until you're sure you understand everything you've been told. If you need more help, ask to speak to a supervisor. Confirm all conversations in writing. Send all correspondence using certified mail with return receipt requested. Keep loose papers in a notebook or accordion folder. Keep copies of all documents and letters.

2 Contact Your Financial Institution

Contact your financial institution and notify them of the unauthorized charges (if they are not aware of them). Close all compromised accounts and open new ones. Make sure to password protect all new accounts. Your financial institution will most likely require you to provide proof of your identity and will want you to complete an affidavit.

3 Initiate a Fraud Alert

Initiate an Initial Fraud Alert (90-day Fraud Alert) on your credit files by contacting one of the three major credit reporting agencies (CRAs). As soon as that agency processes your fraud alert, it will notify the other two agencies. All three CRAs will place fraud alerts in your credit file. You will then receive a free copy of all of the information in your file from each of the three agencies. You will also receive a notice of your rights as an identity theft victim. An Initial Fraud Alert can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name because creditors are required to call you before extending credit. An Initial Fraud Alert stays in your file for at least 90 days and can be renewed.

You can also ask for an Extended Alert (7-year Fraud Alert), which stays in your credit file for seven years. If you ask for an Extended Alert, you will have to provide a copy of an identity theft report, which is a report you have filed with a federal, state or local law enforcement agency. An Extended Alert entitles you to two additional free credit reports from each CRA in a 12-month period following the placing of the alert.

To place either of these alerts, a CRA will require you to provide appropriate proof of your identity, which may include copies of your Social Security card, driver’s license, and/or utility bills. You may cancel the fraud alerts at any time.

P.O. Box 9532
Allen, TX 75013

Click to file an initial fraud alert online 90-Day Fraud Alert

P.O. Box 740250
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Click to file an initial fraud alert online 90-Day Fraud Alert

P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

The Fair And Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) gives all consumers the right to one free copy of their credit report each year from each of the credit reporting agencies. All three credit reporting agencies have additional information regarding identity theft and the FACTA on their web sites.

You may request that only the last four digits of your Social Security number appear on your credit report. In all communications with the credit reporting agencies, you will want to refer to the unique number assigned to your credit.

4 Review Your Credit Report

Check each credit report carefully when you receive it. Look for accounts that you have not opened; charges that you have not made; inquiries that you have not initiated; and default and delinquencies that you have not caused. Check that your name, address, and Social Security number is correct on all reports. File all of the appropriate reports on this web site. Report ID Theft

5 Credit Reporting Agencies

To dispute fraudulent accounts and request that an Extended 7-Year Fraud Alert be placed on your credit file, send the following to the three major credit reporting agencies. Be sure to send all correspondence by certified mail, return receipt requested.

  • A written request for a 7-Year Fraud Alert.
  • A copy of the Identity Theft Report.
  • A notarized Identity Theft Affidavit.
  • A letter disputing the charge(s) and/or account(s).
  • Proof of your identity, which may include copies of your Social Security card, driver’s license, and/or utility bills.

6 Monitor Your Credit Report

Check your credit report regularly. The federal FACTA law enables you to receive one free credit report per year from each of the three credit reporting agencies. These are in addition to the free reports you can order after you place a fraud alert on your credit file. Order your free credit reports online at

We recommend that you stagger the receipt of your credit reports, ordering one approximately every four months. Order your report from a different agency each time. That way you can review your credit report three times each year. If you see possible fraudulent activity on your credit report, file all of the appropriate reports on this web site. Report ID Theft

7 File an Identity Theft Report

If there is a fraudulent transaction showing on your financial statement, be sure to fill out the Unauthorized Credit Card Charges complaint item on this web site. Report ID Theft