If you are a victim of identity theft:
- File a police report at your local precinct; get your complaint number or a copy of your report.
- If your license has been stolen, take your police report to your local Department of Motor Vehicles when you apply for a duplicate license. Ask them to attach a copy of the report to your records.
- Report lost or stolen checks, deposit tickets and/or bank statements immediately.
- Report suspicious activity and unauthorized charges immediately to all of your creditors by both phone and certified mail. Print and fill out an ID Theft Affidavit and send a copy to each of your creditors, to each of the three credit bureaus and to the police. This affidavit can be found on the FTC's website at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/resources/forms/affidavit.pdf
- Contact the three major credit reporting agencies to remove fraudulent transactions and have them place an initial or extended fraud alert on your file:
- An initial fraud alert stays on your credit report for at least 90 days.
- An extended fraud alert stays on your credit report for seven years.
Equifax Fraud Assistance Department: (800) 525-6285 or www.equifax.com
TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance: (800) 680-7289 or www.transunion.com
Experian: (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742) or www.experian.com
- If you suspect that someone is using your Social Security number, you can check your earnings record by calling (800) 772-1213. You can also obtain a “Request for Social Security Earnings Record” (Form SSA-7050) by going to http://www.ssa.gov/online/ssa-7050.pdf
- Review all accounts and statements for suspicious activity. If suspicious activity is found, then report this to the associated institution. If an account has been compromised in any way, it is best to close the affected account and open a new one.
- Keep copies and detailed records of all of your correspondence!
- The faster you act to report identity theft, the faster your good name and credit can be restored.