Make a police report. Report the crime to your local law enforcement agency. Provide as much documentation as possible at the time of the report. Obtain a copy of your police report and keep the report number available so that you can provide it to your creditors when they request verification.
Immediately contact all three of the Credit Bureaus Fraud units and request a “Fraud Alert” be placed on your accounts. Also, report this in writing to the Credit Bureaus. Send this information by Certified Mail, with return receipt requested. Keep copies of these documents with your records. You may need them while trying to clear your credit name.
Fill out a victim statement or “Fraud Affidavit”. Keep a copy and send it Certified Mail, with return receipt requested, to all of the financial institutions involved in the ID Theft and the Credit Bureaus.
Ask how long the ‘Fraud Alert” will be posted on your account and how to extend it if necessary.
Unfortunately, these Fraud Alerts may not entirely stop new fraudulent accounts from being opened in your name. Request a free copy of your credit report every few months enabling you to monitor any unauthorized activity.
Request contact information for the credit grantors with whom fraudulent accounts have been opened. Ask that all inquires as a result of fraudulent access be removed. Request that the credit bureaus notify those who have received your credit report in the last six months (two years for employment) of the disputed and fraudulent/inaccurate information.
Immediately contact creditors by phone and in writing, with whom accounts were opened or used fraudulently. Banks and creditors may ask that you complete a “Notarized Fraud Affidavit”, which could become costly. The law does not require you to notarize an affidavit to a creditor.
Obtain replacement cards with new account numbers for existing accounts that you believe have been used without your permission.
Request that old accounts be processed as “Account Closed at Consumer's Request”. If your account is listed as “Card lost or stolen”, it may be interpreted as blaming you for the loss. Continue to monitor your credit card account bills for new activity.
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You may call 877-438-4338 (877-IDTHEFT) or contact them online at http://www.consumer.gov/section/scams-and-identity-theft
. The FTC keeps a database of information on ID theft and also has a comprehensive guide you may download.
Report stolen checks, ATM card(s) or fraudulent bank accounts to the appropriate financial institution. Place a “stop payment” on outstanding checks if necessary. Close your checking and/or savings account(s) and obtain new account number(s). Create new passwords, using a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.
Contact the local Postal Inspector’s Office immediately, if you suspect a change in address was filed without your authorization.
If you suspect that your Social Security number may have been fraudulently used, notify the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 800-269-0271. Order a copy of your Earnings and Benefits Statement and check it for any fraudulent activities.
Contact your phone company and report stolen calling cards, fraudulent charges and fraudulent accounts that may have been opened in your name. Cancel any open accounts and open a new one in its place.
Contact the Secretary of State’s office to report your driver’s license being used fraudulently. If you suspect that your license number has been obtained fraudulently, fill out the Secretary of State’s complaint form and send supporting documentation to begin the process for a Fraud investigation to be initiated.
Major check verification companies can notify businesses not to accept your checks, call: Telecheck at 1-800-710-9898 or 1-800-927-0188, Certegy, Inc. at 1-800-437-5120. To find out if someone has been passing your bad checks, call SCAN: 1-800-262-7771
Keep a log of conversations including the date, time, phone number(s), person’s name, organization and brief description of conversation when dealing with companies that have your identification and/or credit. Keep copies of all letters and documents. Send all correspondence by certified mail, with return receipt requested.