What to do if your identity is stolen: 11 steps to start now

Dec 7, 2020


Identity theft is a serious issue that affects millions of people worldwide. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having your identity stolen, it is important to take immediate action to protect yourself and minimize the potential damage. In this guide, Life Designers, a trusted consulting and coaching firm, will provide you with 11 steps that you can take right away to regain control of your personal information and mitigate the consequences of identity theft.

Step 1: Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

The first and most crucial step is to stay calm and think clearly. Take a moment to assess the situation and gather as much information as possible about the identity theft incident. This will help you determine the extent of the damage and what actions you need to take next.

Step 2: Contact the Relevant Authorities

Next, you should immediately contact your local law enforcement agency and file a police report. Provide them with all the details of the incident, including any evidence or documentation you have regarding the identity theft. This report will serve as an official record of the crime and can be useful when dealing with creditors and credit bureaus.

Step 3: Notify Your Financial Institutions

Contact all your financial institutions, such as banks, credit card companies, and loan providers, to inform them about the identity theft. Request to freeze or close any compromised accounts and change your account passwords. Make sure to monitor your financial statements closely for any unauthorized transactions and report them immediately.

Step 4: Protect Your Social Security Number

If your Social Security number has been stolen, contact the Social Security Administration and inform them about the identity theft. Request a replacement Social Security card and monitor your Social Security statements for any suspicious activity. You may also consider placing a fraud alert or a security freeze on your credit reports.

Step 5: Monitor Your Credit Reports

Regularly monitor your credit reports from the major credit bureaus, such as TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Look for any unfamiliar accounts or unauthorized inquiries. If you spot any errors or fraudulent activities, promptly dispute them and request a correction. Consider signing up for credit monitoring services to receive alerts about any changes to your credit file.

Step 6: Change Your Passwords and Enable Two-Factor Authentication

As a preventive measure, change all your passwords for online accounts, including email, social media, and online banking. Create strong, unique passwords and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. This extra layer of security will make it harder for identity thieves to gain unauthorized access to your accounts.

Step 7: Alert the Credit Bureaus

Contact the major credit bureaus to inform them about the identity theft incident. Request a fraud alert to be placed on your credit reports, which will require creditors to take extra steps to verify your identity before granting credit in your name. This added security measure can help prevent further fraudulent accounts from being opened.

Step 8: File an Identity Theft Report with the FTC

File an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by submitting a complaint online or calling their dedicated identity theft hotline. The FTC will provide you with a personal recovery plan and valuable resources to assist you in recovering from the identity theft.

Step 9: Keep Detailed Records

Throughout the process of resolving the identity theft, it is crucial to keep detailed records of all your communications, including dates, times, and the names of individuals you have spoken to. Maintain copies of all relevant documents, such as police reports, credit reports, and correspondence with financial institutions. These records will be essential for future reference and potential legal proceedings.

Step 10: Stay Vigilant and Monitor Your Information

Even after taking the necessary steps to address the identity theft, it is important to remain vigilant and continue monitoring your personal information. Regularly check your financial statements, credit reports, and any other accounts for any signs of fraudulent activity. Stay informed about the latest identity theft trends and educate yourself on how to protect your personal information.

Step 11: Seek Professional Help

If you find the process of dealing with identity theft overwhelming or if you need expert guidance, consider seeking professional help from consulting and coaching services like Life Designers. Their experienced consultants can provide personalized support, offer tailored advice, and help you navigate the complex process of identity theft recovery.


Identity theft can have severe consequences, but by taking immediate action and following these 11 steps provided by Life Designers, you can regain control of your personal information and minimize the impact of the theft. Remember, prevention is key, so be proactive in safeguarding your personal information and stay informed about the latest identity theft prevention techniques. Stand strong against identity theft and take back control of your life.

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Great article! These steps are essential for anyone facing identity theft. Thanks for sharing!
Nov 8, 2023