5 Immediate Steps to Take if Your Identity is Stolen

Step 4: Consider a credit freeze

A credit freeze gives you maximum control over who has access to your credit – including lenders and creditors. Without your approval, your credit report will be inaccessible. There are a few pros and cons to this step, so give this serious thought before you take action. 


  • Thieves won’t be able to open fraudulent accounts in your name
  • You can still access your own credit records as usual
  • Has no effect on your credit score


  • New lenders and creditors are unlikely to approve any new credit lines while the freeze is active
  • Won’t affect any accounts that have already been compromised

With a credit freeze in place, even you will have to take special steps to apply for credit. You can still open new accounts, apply for a job, rent an apartment, buy insurance, refinance your mortgage, or do anything else that requires your credit report. But the inquiring party will need to verify your identity, so they may need to request that you call the credit reporting company to lift the freeze in order to review your credit report. 

Stringent laws require you to contact each credit reporting agency separately to place a credit freeze. 

Step 5: Change your passwords

It’s a safe bet that if an identify thief stole your information, they probably have access to your passwords as well. Change these passwords immediately, including any accounts that you don’t believe have been affected. Avoid using obvious passwords, such as those that include your birthdate or portions of your Social Security number.

Moving forward

Remember that recovering from identity theft takes time, but it is possible. Stay vigilant. Continue checking your accounts and monitoring your credit report. And most importantly, don’t give up! If you need help or have questions, the BECU member services team is here for you. 

If you suspect fraudulent activity on any of your BECU accounts, contact us right away:

Lost, stolen or fraudulent charges on debit card

Regular business hours:
Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. PST 
Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. PST

After hours:

Lost, stolen or fraudulent charges on Visa card

Regular business hours:
Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. PST 
Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. PST

After hours:

Helpful Resources

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