By Amy Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – What’s the first thing you should do if you find that you’re the victim of identity theft? And then what?
A Lancaster, Pennsylvania man failed to pull off the perfect crime after he tried to buy goods at a convenience store with a stolen credit card and the clerk recognized him. Also, the stolen card belonged to the clerk’s mom.
If you’re not so lucky and you find that you’ve been victimized, here’s what to do. As soon as you discover the fraud, contact one of the three credit reporting agencies and put a fraud alert on your file. Get a copy of your credit report and read it carefully to see what accounts exist that you didn’t create. Close all the accounts you know or think may have been tampered with. Make sure you keep a list of all the people to whom you speak at the credit card companies and follow up in writing.
File a police report and file a report with the Federal Trade Commission.
For more information, go to the commission’s website at FTC.gov or contact their identity theft hotline at 877-IDTHEFT.