How to Report Identity Theft and a Fraudulent Tax Return

Dear Experian,

Someone tried to file an income tax return using our names and Social Security numbers, so I need to report identity theft to Experian. How do I do this?


Dear AHK,

If you suspect that someone may have obtained your identification information and is using it to commit identity fraud, contact Experian and request an initial security alert. The easiest way to add the alert is online at Experian's Fraud Center. Follow the instructions to instantly add a fraud alert and request a free credit report. You can also request the alert over the phone or by mail.

Experian will notify the other two credit reporting companies and they will add an alert to their files well.

The initial security alert remains for twelve months. It notifies anyone looking at your report that you may be a victim of identity theft and that someone may be trying to apply for credit in your name. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires creditors to take reasonable steps in response to the alert to verify your identity before approving any requests made in your name. You will have the option to add a phone number to the alert so that creditors may contact you if someone applies for credit.

If you filed a police report and need to extend the alert for longer than twelve months, you may do so by submitting a copy of the report to us by mail. A form with instructions to add an extended fraud victim alert is provided when you click that option after selecting "Add a fraud alert message."

In addition to working with Experian, you should notify the IRS. You may need to include a fraud victim document along with your tax return.

Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team

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