The happenings "inside" the Wisconsin State Treasury and across the street at the State Capitol

Money Matters: Protect Your Identity

It can take minutes for someone to steal your financial information and change your life forever. The devastating consequences of identity theft are easy to avoid by taking the right precautions.

Frame of an animation by the U.S. Federal Trad...

Frame of an animation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission intended to educate citizens about phishing tactics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you do fall victim, you need to act quickly. Here are the agencies to contact immediately should that happen –

Credit Bureau Contact Information Equifax
Order Credit Report: 1.800.685.1111
Fraud Hotline: 1.888.766.0008

Report Order: 1.888.397.3742
Fraud Hotline: 1.888.397.3742

Trans Union
Report Order: 1.877.322.8228
Fraud Hotline: 1.800.680.7289

As Practical Money Skills tells us, immediately contact the fraud departments of each of the credit bureaus and alert them that you are a victim of identity theft, and request that a fraud alert be placed in your file. You can also request a security freeze, preventing credit issuers from obtaining access to your credit files without your permission. This prevents thieves from opening up new credit cards in your name.

Also, report identity theft to your local police department. If the crime occurred somewhere other than where you live, you may wish to report it to law enforcement there as well. The police will create an “identity theft report” and you can request a copy.

The FTC does not investigate identity theft cases, but they can share information that you give them, such as the identity theft report number, with investigators nationwide. For more information about fighting back against identity theft, visit the FTC’s Identity Theft website.

The Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Hotline is 877-IDTHEFT (877-438-4338)

Then Office of the State Treasurer does require your social security number for verification when you make a claim. Rest assured, we already know your social security number. We need you to verify it to make sure you are the right person to be getting the claim. But, again, if someone steals your ID and your Social Security number and they make a claim in your name, you could lose out on collecting your own money!


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