Protect Your Financial Information
If you are concerned by reports of a widespread data breach or believe your personal financial information has been compromised, the Commerce Department recommends the following actions:
Request a credit freeze on your credit report
A freeze restricts access to your credit report, which makes it nearly impossible for someone to open a new account or line of credit in your name. If you have been a victim of identity theft, Minnesota law allows you to place a freeze on your credit report for free. Minnesotans can request a credit freeze for any reason as a proactive measure for a $5 fee. Credit reporting agencies must place the freeze within three days of receiving a request and provide a unique PIN within 10 days of the request.
If you want someone (such as a lender) to have access to your credit report, your will need to temporarily lift or remove the freeze.
Request a credit report freeze form
Place a fraud alert on your credit report
If you have been a victim of identity theft, you can request a fraud alert at no charge by contacting one of the three credit reporting companies. You must prove your identity and the alert is active for 90 days and can be renewed. With a fraud alert in place, you can request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting companies.
Learn how to understand your credit report.
Check for suspicious or unauthorized activities
Review your credit report and if you find accounts fraudulently opened in your name, close them and contact your credit card companies to reissue new cards if any legitimate accounts have been compromised.
Closely monitor your accounts with creditors including credit cards companies, banks, credit union, and other lenders during the months following any breach.
Consider filing your tax returns early
To prevent someone from fraudulently filing a tax return with your information, file as soon as you have all the needed information.
Beware of “asset recovery” scams
These scams pack a “double whammy” by targeting individuals who have already been victims of fraud. They will lure victims with the promise of getting your money back for an upfront fee and its unlikely they will deliver on their promise.