WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT
- Immediately report the crime to your local police. Make sure to obtain all of the documented information. You will be required by your bank, credit card issuers, insurance providers and any other source you will be filing a claim with to provide the police report.
- In the event that you have had checks stolen, contact your bank right away. Cancel the checks and close all associated bank accounts. In addition, make sure you put stop-payments on all your outstanding checks and contact the payee of those outstanding checks and let them know you will be reissuing payment.
- A good idea would be to fill out fraud
affidavits with your creditors and banks. There is no charge in
doing so and it will help solidify your claim.
- Contact the fraud departments of all the credit
bureaus (Trans Union, Equifax and Experian) and let them know about
the theft. Tell them you want your accounts flagged. And most
importantly, request that a victim's statement is added to your
reports. An example of a 'victim's statement': My social security
card, driver's license and/or personal identification have been used
for applying for credit illegally. Please contact me at 555-555-1234
so that I can verify all new applications for credit.
- You may want to contact the Social Security
Administration in the event that your social security number has
become connected with bad credit and checks and request a new SSN.
It is important to note that obtaining a new social security number
is only granted in the most extreme scenarios. Make sure that you
contact all three credit bureaus as well as all of your creditors to
inform them of your new social security number.
- Depending on the severity of your situation, you may want to get in touch with an attorney. A lawyer will help you recover from the fraud and ascertain whether your rights under different banking, credit, social security number and other laws have been violated.