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Identity Theft: Quick Tips for Victims
SecurityTip: Take quick action if you think you are the victim of identity theft or fraud. Notify all the proper authorities and have a fraud alert placed on your credit file.
What Should You Do If Your Identity Is Stolen?
First and foremost, act quickly: take the actions described in the following steps:
- Keep detailed records of all communications regarding this incident including names, dates, and times. Send letters by certified mail and retain a copy.
- Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit reporting bureaus and have a fraud alert placed on your file. Obtain copies of your credit reports. Credit Card Bureaus:
Credit Bureau Contact Information Credit Bureau Contact Information Equifax Credit Information Services Consumer Fraud Division
PO Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
Experian National Consumer Assistance
PO Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Department
PO Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
- Check your credit reports. Call creditors for each bogus account listed on your credit report and instruct them to freeze the account immediately.
- File a report with the police department(s) in the jurisdiction where the crime(s) occurred, as well as with your local police department. Request copies of the police report(s).
- Mail copies of the police report(s) to the three credit bureaus listed above.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission and file a complaint.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Contact Information Description Contact Information Federal Trade Commission ID Theft Web site http://ftc.gov/idtheft/ Federal Trade Commission ID Theft Hotline 887-ID-THEFT, 887-438-4338
- Contact your bank and stop payment on any outstanding checks. Cancel your checking and/or savings account, and open new accounts. Report any fraud to check verification companies.
Check Verification Companies Company Contact Information Check Rite 800-638-4600 Chex Systems 800-328-5121 SCAN 800-262-7771 Tele-Check 800-710-9898
- Check all your investments for irregular activity.
- Monitor your mail deliveries. It’s important to know the dates you normally receive credit card, bank, and investment statements so you can recognize when statements are late or missing. To report security investment or brokerage account tampering, contact the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Securities and Exchange Commission Contact Information Address Phone and FAX Numbers SEC Complaint Center
450 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20549-0213
- If you suspect someone has changed your address or used the mail to commit identity theft, contact your local U.S. Postal Inspector and report the crime. Contact your local Postmaster to ensure your mail is sent to the correct address. Also, talk to your mail carrier to alert him or her of the problem. To locate your local U.S. Postal Service inspector, visit: http://www.usps.com/postalinspectors.
- Contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) if your Social Security Number (SSN) was used to commit identity theft. The Social Security Administration will change your SSN if you meet the agency’s fraud victim criteria. Regularly check your Social Security Earnings and Benefits Statement.
Social Security Administration Contact Information Description Contact Information Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline Phone: 800-269-0271
Social Security Administration Fraud Hotlin Address SSA Fraud Hotline
PO Box 17768
Baltimore, MD 21235
Web site for ordering a Social Security Earnings and Benefits Statement http://www.ssa.gov
- If bankruptcy occurred fraudulently using your name, contact the U.S. Trustee in the region where the bankruptcy was filed at http://www.usdoj.gov/ust.
- Check if criminal records or arrests occurred using your name.
- Contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles if driver’s license or identification card fraud occurred in your name. Department of Motor Vehicles to report fraud: 866-658-5758 firstname.lastname@example.org
California Department of Motor Vehicles Contact Information Description Contact Information General Information Phone: 866-658-5758 E-mail address for reporting fraud email@example.com
- Notify utilities and telephone companies so they can stop anyone ordering utilities in your name.
- Notify the U.S. Department of State, Passport Services Department, of your identity theft so they can intercept anyone ordering a new passport in your name. See http://travel.state.gov/passport/ for more information.
- If the fraud involved a business scam, contact the National Fraud Information Center at 800-876-7060.
This information is intended as a quick reference guide in the event your identity is stolen. Accuracy and completeness may vary if the agency responsibilities or contact information listed above changes. Please visit the Web sites of the organizations mentioned in this article for the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about how to prevent and respond to identity theft. For information about how you can help prevent identity theft, read the How to Help Prevent Identity Theft security tip.