Important Steps for Victims of Identity Theft

Important Steps for Victims of Identity Theft

Cybercriminals are clever in how they obtain personal information from victims. If you have fallen victim to a cyber scam and your identity might have been stolen, follow these steps to alert all institutions of the fraud.

1. Contact your financial institution.

Call your financial institution right away to alert them of the fraud and identity theft. They can put a stop to any outgoing financial transactions and close existing accounts. They also will help add alerts to new cards and accounts you open. 

2. File a report with your local law enforcement agency.

Filing a report will assist you in dealing with other financial institutions, creditors, and major credit bureaus. It will also help protect you from criminal arrest or false accusations.

3. File a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The FTC maintains an identity theft clearinghouse. Report at or call 1-877-438-4338.

4. Contact all three major credit reporting bureaus.

Ask for a fraud alert to be placed on your file. The first credit bureau you reach may forward your information to the other credit bureaus. 

5. Contact all creditors by phone and writing.

File a law enforcement report of FTC's ID Theft Affidavit with each creditor. Keep copies of all correspondence and document exchanges.

6. Notify the Social Security Administration. 

If someone uses your Social Security number, contact the Social Security Administration fraud hotline at 800-269-0271 or submit a report online at If someone is claiming that your Social Security number is going to be shut down or states something unusual regarding your Social Security number, go to to report it.

7. Notify your phone company.

If the identity theft involves the misuse of telephone accounts, long distance, cell phones or other telephone services, immediately close those accounts.

8. Notify the State Department.

If you are aware of, or have been a victim of, fraud associated with a U.S. Passport, contact

9. Notify the FBI

Report electronic crimes to the FBI on its Internet Crime Complaint Center website at

10. If you are contacted by a Collection Agency, notify them that you are a victim of identity theft. Give them proof of the theft with a copy of the law enforcement report or ID theft affidavit. 

The FTC website will help you make a recovery plan and guide you through the process. Contact SFB directly if you have any questions regarding your bank account information. Call us at 888.254.0615.