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How to report identity theft and fraud

Identity (ID) theft occurs when someone gains access to personal information, such as name, date of birth, address and Social Security number, and uses that information to commit fraudulent crimes. That's why it's important for you to know what to do if you become an ID theft victim.

Here are some important steps you can take right away if you believe your identity has been compromised:

 

  • Contact your financial institutions and creditors.
    Speak with their fraud departments and explain that someone has stolen your identity.
  • Check your credit reports and place a fraud alert on your file.
    Initiate a fraud alert by contacting one of the three credit bureaus (when you contact one credit bureau, the other two bureaus are notified automatically). Review these reports closely for inaccuracies and close any accounts you believe were opened fraudulently.
  • File an identity theft report and retain it for your records.
    Contact your local law enforcement to report the crime and complete a report online at the Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) identity theft website or by calling 1.877.IDTHEFT (438.4338). The FTC will enter your complaint information into its Consumer Sentinel Network database and provide victim assistance and consumer education materials. Its website has information about your rights as a victim of identity theft and explains the steps needed to repair your name and credit.
  • Protect your device against malware or malicious software.
    Download and install security software that updates automatically from a reputable company you trust. Trusteer Rapport online fraud protection software is free from Merrill and helps protect you from malware and phishing attacks.
  • Change your passwords and PINS.
    Make sure to change your online sign-in credentials, passwords and PINs on all of your accounts at financial institutions, including Bank of America and Merrill.
  • Set up account and security alerts.
    Receive notifications of activity on your accounts so you can take action immediately and protect yourself against fraud.
  • Replace your stolen identification.
    Contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles to report and replace your stolen driver’s license. Remember: Check to see if a secondary license has been issued in your name. If your Social Security number has been compromised, contact the Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline at 800.269.0271 and consider notifying the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) at 800.908.4490.

Want to learn more? We’ve assembled these steps and more in a printable PDF. Download our Identity Theft brochure for more ways to protect yourself against identity theft and fraud.

 

 

If you suspect you’re a victim of fraud, contact us immediately at 1.800.MERRILL (637.7455), or speak to your financial advisor for further assistance.

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