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Released: July 02, 2008
Help Desk FAQ
What is identity theft and how can I protect myself?
In these short films on Monkey See, a web site featuring learning videos, Linda Sherry of the Consumer Action staff details the best ways to prevent identity theft and what you can do if you think your identity has been stolen. [The newest version of Adobe Flash is required to watch the videos.]
- What is Identity Theft?
- How to Prevent Identity Theft
- How to Resolve Identity Theft
- Resources for Identity Theft
Resources mentioned in the videos
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ID Theft Clearinghouse
- Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
- Credit reporting agencies (see below)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): Contact the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Clearinghouse (see link above) and file an identity theft complaint at Those complaints are used by law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, that investigate identity theft. You can also obtain additional information at that website regarding your rights as a victim. Online identity thefts can also be reported at www.IC3.gov
- US Postal Inspection Service
Credit reporting bureaus - Fraud reporting
- Equifax: 877-576-5734/800-525-6285; www.equifax.com
- Experian: 888-397-3742; www.experian.com
- TransUnion: 800-680-7289; www.transunion.com
Free copies of your credit report
Annual Credit Report is the official site for free annual credit reports required under federal law.
Toll free number: 877-322-8228
By Mail: You must download the request form from Annual Credit Report.com. (See above.) Look closely in the text on the home page to find the link that will provide you with instructions for downloading the form. Print and complete the form and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Your reports will be mailed to you within 15 days. Expect to wait as long as 2-3 weeks for delivery.
Consumer Action materials
To read Consumer Action's ID Theft materials, click on the links below: