Identity Theft

If you suspect that you may have exposed your personal information to an unauthorized individual, you should:

  • Reset your exposed passwords.
  • Contact the support team of the institutions where your passwords were exposed.
  • If you received the fraudulent e-mail message through your Princeton email address, contact Princeton University's Department of Public Safety.
  • If the information provided can be used to access other institutions, contact them as well. For example, if your credit card number was exposed, contact your credit card company. If any piece of information was exposed that could be used to open financial accounts (e.g., your social security number, date of birth, place of birth, mother's maiden name, bank account numbers, credit card numbers), contact your credit card company or any of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax 1-800-685-1111, Experian 1-888-397-3742, and TransUnion 1-888-909-8872), and sign up for their credit monitoring service (although credit freezes can be even more effective - see next bullet).
  • Consider freezing your credit. A credit freeze stops potential creditors from being able to pull your credit file.  This makes it more difficult for thieves to apply for new lines of credit in your name. Contact the three major credit bureaus (referenced above) to freeze your credit.
    • Please note that you could place a fraud alert on your credit report, which will require businesses to contact you and verify your identity should someone apply for credit in your name. A fraud alert is less intrusive than a freeze, and you need only contact one of the above credit reporting agencies to set it up.
  • Report the theft of Social Security numbers to the IRS at 1-800-908-4490.  Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen personal information, including your Social Security number, to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.
  • Report identity theft:
    • Place an initial fraud alert on your credit report.
      You can do this by contacting one of the three nationwide credit reporting companies.
    • Report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (IdentityTheft.Gov)
    • You may also file a police report with your local jurisdiction.
    • Contact the fraud department of any company where you suspect a fraudulent use of your Social Security number has occurred.