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Six Sites to Help Consumers Avoid and Recover From Identity Theft

The following institutions provide some of the most comprehensive and helpful identity theft resources available. 
Whether you are a victim of identity theft or you are someone looking for educational information on the crime, these sites are a good place to start your research.

The Credit Bureaus

credit bureau Equifax Experian transunion
phone number (800) 997-2493 (888) 397-3742 (800) 680-7289
address Equifax
P.O. Box 105496
Atlanta, GA 30348-5496
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013-2104
P.O. Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064-0390

One of the first things you should do if you are a victim of identity fraud is contact all three credit bureaus to inform them of the fraud, request copies of your credit reports and place fraud alerts on your credit. Each of the three bureaus also offers identity theft prevention services, which can be researched on their respective web sites.

Annual Credit Report

Individuals are entitled to three free credit reports annually – one from each credit bureau. Whether or not you are a victim of identity theft, you should take advantage of your free reports. If you are not a fraud victim, the best thing to do is to space out the three reports by requesting one every four months. is the official site for individuals to obtain their free credit reports. This is probably the best source of your free reports, as it is less confusing than the credit bureau sites if your purpose is just to obtain your report(s).

On Guard Online

On Guard Online,, is an educational guide on how to prevent identity theft and Internet fraud. The information on this site has been compiled by contributors in the federal government and technology industry. It is a very useful site for individuals seeking tips on how to secure their computer. In addition to posting a wealth of information on Internet scams, it outlines what to watch out for while shopping online, file sharing online and using social networking sites.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The Federal Trade Commission’s identity theft web site is one of the most comprehensive online identity theft resources available. The site offers tools and resources that are useful to consumers, businesses and law enforcement seeking information on identity theft prevention and recovery. If you are looking for information what identity theft is and how to prevent it, this is a great site. But even more helpful are the tools posted specifically for victims, including sample letters, recovery tips for specific types of identity fraud and resources for obtaining ID theft reports and complaint forms.

The Identity Theft Resource Center

The Identity Theft Resource Center® (IRTC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and prevention of identity theft. THE IRTC’s web site,, is one of the most useful sites available on the web for identity theft victims. The site offers loads of victim assistance, letter templates and state and local resources. It even has a long list of guidelines on what to do if your wallet is lost or stolen. It also one of the very few sites that offers tips on how to recover from medical identity theft

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) is another non-profit organization that seeks to educate and help protect consumers from identity theft. Their web site, displays identity theft fact sheets, publications and guidelines. They also have a hotline for victims of identity theft, and they provide assistance with victim complaints against identity fraud.

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