Cybersecurity Client Alert – September 2015

    By Nicole J. Harrell, Data Privacy and Security

    Your Identity Has Been Stolen. Now What?

    You need to act quickly and take four immediate actions:

    First, you should call the companies where you know the fraud occurred and explain that your identity has been stolen. Most large companies have fraud departments and they will assist you in closing or freezing your accounts. You will need to change your passwords and pin numbers.

    Second, call one of the three major credit reporting bureaus – Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. If you report to one of these bureaus, it must notify the other two bureaus. A fraud alert will be placed on your file. You should also request a free credit report from Simply requesting your credit report is not enough – you should carefully review it and make note of any accounts or transactions you do not recognize.

    Third, report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”). The FTC has an online complaint form (  The FTC’s system will generate an Identity Theft Affidavit that you should print and save. You will need this for the fourth step.

    Fourth, report the identity theft to your local police department. You may be asked to provide your Identity Theft Affidavit, a government-issued identification with a photo, proof of your address (such as your mortgage statement or a utility bill), and other information you have which serves as proof of the identity theft. If your local police department is reluctant to take the report, also provide them with a copy of the FTC’s Memo (, which explains why the police report is a vital piece enabling you to receive protection. You should ask for a copy of the police report.

    After taking these four initial steps, you should again contact the businesses where an account was opened in your name or where there are fraudulent charges. Keep a log of which companies you contacted, the date and time you called and the name of the person to whom you spoke. You should ask the business to close fraudulent accounts and send you a letter confirming that the account was closed, the account was not yours, you are not liable for the charges on the account and that it was removed from your credit report. For fraudulent charges, ask the business to remove the charges and to send you a letter confirming they were removed.

    Next, you will need to contact each credit bureau in writing and let them know which information should be blocked. You should include a copy of your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit and police report. Blocked information will not show up on future credit reports.

    Finally, you should consider extended credit monitoring to help prevent further misuse.

    Depending on what information was comprised, you may need to take additional steps. The FTC’s website further explains all of the information included above as well as what additional actions you may need to take –

    Kaufman & Canoles remains available, even on short notice, to assist with any breach, cyberattack and your HIPAA compliance matters. In the event of a potential breach, attack, an upcoming HIPAA audit, or if you have any questions regarding security planning, response or compliance, contact our Cybersecurity Response Team. The Cybersecurity Response Team can be reached at (844) 417.3309 or

    The contents of this publication are intended for general information only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts and circumstances. Copyright 2024.