A. Remember identity theft is a crime. So the first thing you should do is contact your local law enforcement agency and generate a report of the theft. Be prepared to explain who, what, when, & where. Several times the officer will ask you who you may suspect gained accessed to your personal information. Unfortunately, some close family and friends are the thieves.
Talking to the Banks or Agencies
B. If you have not already, contact the agencies or institutions where the fraud took place and put them of on notice of the irregular transaction or occurrences. Some banks and laws have a deadline (ie 60 days) to report irregularities so that you would not be responsible.
C. Contact the Federal Trade Commission- at 1-877-ID THEFT (877-438-4338) or TDD at 202-326-2502.
D. Contact all three credit bureaus if it has been financial fraud.- Equifax: Call (800) 525-6285. TransUnion: Call (800) 680-7289. Experian: Call (888) 397-3742.
E. Contact your local Postal Inspection Service, if you suspect that mail in your name is being forwarded to a different address.
F. Contact the Social Security Administration, if you suspect that your social security number is being fraudulently used- contact the fraud office at 800-269-0271.
G. Contact the Internal Revenue Service if you suspect tax violations with your personal information- contact them at 1-800-829-0433.
Security or Credit Freeze
With a freeze, a company may not look at your credit report for the purposes of establishing new lines of credit. Companies you already have an existing relationship with (example: a credit card, loan or utility service) may view your reports but only to review your credit-worthiness. Placing a freeze is a strong step to take and will affect your ability to get instant credit since it can take up to 3 days to thaw a report. However, it also locks out thieves, and that is the purpose. In those states with freezes, most laws state that victims with a police report get this service for free. Some states also allow the consumer to buy a freeze. You may thaw your freeze anytime you wish to apply for credit but you will need to plan ahead. Florida Law- A $10 fee is charged each time the individual activates, removes, or temporarily lifts the freeze -- although this fee does not apply to victims of identity theft. Also citizens 65 years of age can place one for free. For info click on link.
Additional resources provided by the author
All victims should report their case when they have time to 877-IDTHEFT or to the website: www.consumer.gov/idtheft .
. You can receive your reports from all three of the credit bureau websites at www.annualcreditreport.com. They can also be contacted by phone at 1-877-322-8228 and by mail at:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281