Read the information provied below. If you have further questions or need more information, please view the Federal Trade Comission's website on Identity Theft.
Click here for a link that takes you directly to their page on how to recover from ID theft.
Para informacion en Español sobre el robo de identidad, oprima aquí
Here are some immediate steps you should take:
1. IMMEDIATELY contact your local police department to report the identity theft. Give the police as much information as you can about how you think the thief obtained your personal information. Sometimes that is easy, as when your pocket is picked or your purse stolen or your house burglarized. Sometimes, you will never have a clue as to how or why this has happened -- but contact the police anyway. You are doing so for two reasons -- first, to try and help the police investigate the crime and, perhaps, spare others. Second, and of equal or greater importance, you want to obtain a copy of the police report you have filed. This will help you establish with others (those who may have granted the thief credit in your name, as well as the various credit reporting agencies) that you are a victim of a crime, not a credit abuser. Since your theft is not a violent crime (like a burglary or an assault), some police agencies -- short on staffing --may be reluctant to accept your report.
IMMEDIATELY complete an FTC ID Theft Affidavit. This gives you a single, standard document to report your ID theft to multiple organizations.click here to obtain a document maintained by the Federal Trade Commission (an Adobe PDF file) that contains instructions for completing the document, the ID Theft Affidavit itself and the Fraudulent Account Statement.
When the police are reluctant to take your report, here's some suggestions from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission:
2.IMMEDIATELY contact any one of the three major credit reporting agencies. When you receive your reports, carefully review them for any signs of possible fraudulent activity. You are looking for such things as accounts you can't recall opening, inquiries about your credit from places you don't recall applying for credit, incorrect information (Social Security numbers, addresses, etc.). You should report any inaccuracies in writing to the appropriate agency, following the instructions they provide. The agencies will also provide you with assistance in interpreting your report.
Credit Reporting Agencies: Listed below are the contact addresses and telephone numbers for the three major credit reporting agencies:
* To order your report, call: 800-685-1111 or write:
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
* To report fraud, call: 800-525-6285 and write:
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
* Hearing impaired call 1-800-255-0056 and ask the operator to call the Auto Disclosure Line at 1-800-685-1111 to request a copy of your report.
Experian - www.experian.com
* To order your report, call: 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742) or write:
P.O. Box 2002, Allen TX 75013
* To report fraud, call: 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742) and write:
P.O. Box 9530, Allen TX 75013
* Hearing Impaired/TDD: 1-800-972-0322
Trans Union - www.transunion.com
* To order your report, call: 800-888-4213 or write:
P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022
* To report fraud, call: 800-680-7289 and write:
Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634
3. IMMEDIATELY notify any credit grantor if you suspect fraudulent activity on one of your existing accounts and contact any credit grantor if you suspect the account was fraudulently opened.
4. ONCE YOU HAVE DONE THESE THINGS, the need for additional actions and help depends a lot on how long the ID theft has been going on before you became aware of it. If you caught the theft immediately or relatively quickly (your purse was snatched or wallet stolen, for example), you may have nipped the threat of further damage in the bud. But if the thief obtained your personal information from various third parties, with bills and statements going to some other address, you may discover (as some victims have) that the thief has more accounts open in your name than you do. Sorting things out will not be easy, it almost certainly will be time-consuming, and how you tackle the problems will depend on what the thief has done. The Federal Trade Commission has prepared an excellent summary of the various types of problems you might encounter, with suggestions on how to tackle each one. You can go to that summary (Recovering from Identity Theft) by clicking here.
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