I can’t say that I have ever been a victim of identity theft, but I feel sorry for those who have. One of the first stops a victim will often make is in contacting their local Better Business Bureau. When they reach one of our staff, we give them contact information about the different agencies that they need to contact; that list is not short. The victim’s creditors must be contacted, their bank, law enforcement, the Federal Trade Commission, the Attorney General, at least one of the credit bureaus, and any credit card company that may be involved. As if it isn’t enough to have one’s bank account wiped out or credit stolen, then there’s the inconvenience of victim follow-up.
Many times when people come to us, they are looking for a simple solution to bring the identity theft criminal to justice and to get their positive credit history and money back. Unfortunately, it is never that simple.
One helpful tool provided is an Identity Theft Victim Kit. In the hyperlink example, I use one created by the Indiana Attorney General. On the last page of this kit is a grid that provides information of agencies that Identity Theft victims should contact. All of the numbers can be used, although if you are calling from a state other than Indiana, you will need to substitute that state’s number for the Attorney General. This grid gives you a place to keep track of important dates, contact people, phone numbers, and other information. Incidentally, letters you send to any agency should be sent by certified mail so that you know that your correspondence was received.
The goal of contacting these agencies is to bring the Identity Thief to justice and to get your hard-earned, good credit score and, possibly, money back. Much work must be done though to undo the damage done. If you have any questions about this process or navigating it, feel free to give us a call!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/23905174@N00/1281768230/”>Don Hankins</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>