What To Do Right Away
If you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft, consider these steps:
Step 1: Call the companies where you know the fraud occurred; ask them to close or freeze your accounts(s); change logins, passwords, and PINs for your account(s).
Step 2: Place a fraud alert and get your credit reports; consider a credit freeze.
Step 3: Report identity theft to the FTC.
Step 4: You may choose to file a report with your local police department; go to your local police department with:
- a copy of your FTC Identity Theft Report (from Step 3)
- a photo, government-issued ID
- proof of your address (mortgage statement, rental agreement, or utility bill)
- any other proof you have of the theft (bills, IRS notices, etc.)
If you need to report identity theft to the Sheboygan Police Department, click here.
Never click on links in unsolicited emails or text messages – they’re probably part of a phishing scam.
When shopping online, only buy from reputable, known sources; look for the “https” encrypted connection, or the padlock symbol, in the address bar.
Don’t use public Wi-Fi for financial, or other private, transactions or web browsing; use a VPN client to give yourself better online privacy and anonymity.
Never send funds to a government agency or charity using a pre-paid gift card or money transfer; research charities before donating, or donate through known websites.
Don’t agree to deposit a check and wire money back to someone because of an over-payment; these scenarios are always a scam.
Consider a credit freeze; this will prevent scammers from opening fraudulent accounts using your info.
Check your credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com; online reports are free and currently available weekly through April 2021.