#1 – DEACTIVATING AFFECTED ACCOUNTS
Alerting your creditors and banks as soon as you can if you have lost or stolen credit or ATM cards, or see unauthorized transactions on your monthly statements is an important first step in deactivating affected accounts. Contact the financial institution as soon as possible, but definitely within 60 days (responding to fraudulent charges within 60 days limits your liability). Most banking institutions have a department that specifically handles lost or stolen cards and fraudulent transactions. Call and speak with a customer service representative, and then follow up with a letter sent via certified mail, return receipt requested (and keep a copy for your records). Make sure to use new and complex passwords for any new accounts you open. Also request that your good credit history (which boosts your credit score) be carried over to the new account. See resources for the contact information for some of the major financial institutions.