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 your credit card issuers and cancel your cards. Request new cards and new account numbers. Request for your old accounts to be marked as 'account closed at customer's request'. This will equate to your info being reported on your credit report as a no-fault as opposed to you being blamed when it is reported as 'stolen' or 'card lost'. This will also help any disputes that may be filed against you by credit card issuers.

- 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.

- If your ATM has been stolen, cancel the card, request a new one and change your password and account number.

- Report any fraudulent banking activity (checks stolen and used and/or bank account compromised or illegally set-up in your name) to:

- TeleCheck
- National Check Fraud Center,
- Global Payments Check Services
- Certegy Check Services ,
- Shared Check Authorization Network (SCAN)

- 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.

- If your driver license number has become associated with bad checks, then you should go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and request a new driver's license number. DMV will likely request proof that the theft of your driver's license has resulted in damage to your identity and/or is being used to commit a crime. 

- Get in touch with your local Consumer Credit Counseling Service for additional input on removing counterfeit claims from your credit report.

- 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.

Related Reading:
Avoid Becoming a Victim of Identity Theft
Detecting Identity Theft
Children and Identity Theft
Seniors and Identity Theft
Phishing
 

 

 




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