Protecting Your Identity
Keeping your important papers secure, shredding documents with sensitive information before you put them in the trash, and limiting the personal information you carry with you are among the ways you can protect yourself from identity theft. Find additional tips to reduce your risk of identity theft, including how and when to order your free credit report.
Protecting Your Information
Active Duty Alerts
An active duty alert adds an extra layer of protection to the credit records of service members while they are deployed.
Credit Freeze FAQs
If you’re concerned about identity theft, data breaches, or someone gaining access to your credit report without your permission, you might consider placing a credit freeze on your report.
Financial Readiness: As Critical as Fully Charged Batteries
You’ve got batteries, a tank of gas, and water. Are your financial papers and personal documents stored safely in case of an emergency?
How to Keep Your Personal Information Secure
Safeguard your personal information, whether it is on paper, online, or on your computers and mobile devices.
Identity Theft Protection Services
Here’s how to evaluate the services and costs of a service that claims to protect your identity.
Signs of Identity Theft
If identity thieves have your personal information, they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, open new utility accounts, or get medical treatment on your health insurance. Here’s how to act quickly to limit the damage.
Repairing Identity Theft
If you suspect someone has stolen your identity, acting quickly to limit the damage is key. Take a deep breath, and then place a fraud alert on your credit file, order your credit reports, and call the FTC to report the crime.
What to Do Right Away
Immediate Steps to Repair Identity Theft
Here’s how to begin to limit the harm from identity theft.
What to Do Next
Extended Fraud Alerts and Credit Freezes
Placing both extended fraud alerts and credit freezes on your credit reports can make it more difficult for an identity thief to open new accounts in your name.
Repairing Your Credit After Identity Theft
Here are step-by-step instructions for disputing fraudulent charges and accounts related to identity theft.
Sample Letters and Forms for Victims of Identity Theft
Use these samples to help write your own letters to limit damage caused by identity theft.
Statement of Rights for Identity Theft Victims
Identity theft victims have several rights under federal law.
Specific Types of Identity Theft
Child Identity Theft
Here’s how to protect your child's personal information against theft.
Medical Identity Theft
An identity thief can use your personal information to get medical care or services. Find out how to respond.
Tax-Related Identity Theft
Do you know the warning signs that an identity thief is using your Social Security number?
Other Issues You May Confront
Clearing Your Name of Criminal Charges
You can clear your name of criminal charges resulting from identity theft.
Do You Need a New Social Security Number?
You must report the misuse of your Social Security number. Now, should you get a new — or replacement — number or card?
Identity Theft-Protecting Your Identity
Learn how to dispute a debt with a collector, how to stop a collector from selling or transferring a debt that’s not yours, and how to stop calls and letters from a collector.
Lost or Stolen Credit, ATM, and Debit Cards
Federal law limits your liability if your credit, ATM, or debit card is lost or stolen, but your liability may depend on how quickly you report the loss or theft.
Misused Checking Accounts
Here’s what to do if someone uses your checking account.
Specific Problems Related to Identity Theft
Explains how to deal with lost, stolen or misused government-issued ID; stolen mail; investment, utility and student loan accounts that have been tampered with or fraudulently opened in your name; and fraudulent bankruptcy filings in your name.
We Are Here Help
Identity Theft can occur quickly and by the time you realize what happened, it’s too late. Recovery will be difficult and quite lengthy. The best option is to immediately contact your financial institutions, check your credit report and put a credit lock on it, change all your passwords, require new credit cards and notify your utility and phone providers. Trying to locate the perpetrators can be very difficult. Make sure and fill out the proper forms and submit them to the companies affected by the fraudsters, requesting their contact information. Identity Theft affects everyone. If you require assistance, we invite you to call us and speak with an investigator about your case details.
Confidentiality, Integrity, and Professionalism
Washington State Investigators