Steps to take if you are the victim of Identity Theft

August 22, 2018

Do you suspect that you have been the victim of identity theft?  Here is how to start to resolve the situation!

 

Step 1: 

Report the crime (unauthorized use of your credit card, theft of funds from your bank account, fraudulent tax return) to the police and get a copy of the police report or case number for reference.

 

STEP 2:

Contact your credit card company and report that your account has been compromised.  Replacement cards with new numbers should be obtained, and the request should be followed up in writing.

 

STEP 3:

Report the fraud to all three credit reporting bureaus and ask that your accounts be flagged and that any future credit applications be verified via phone.  The credit bureaus are –

 

  • Equifax- www.equifax.com

  • Experian- www.experian.com

  • Trans Union- www.transunion.com

 

STEP 4:

If your social security number has been used fraudulently, contact the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General to report the fraud.

 

STEP 5:

File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission www.consumer.ftc.gov

 

STEP 6:

If you believe there is a risk of identity theft because of lost or stolen personal information, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) immediately so that your tax account can be secured against fraudulent filings.  You will be asked to complete Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, and if the IPSU determines that you do have a tax-related identity theft problem, they will investigate your case.  You may be issued an Identity Protection PIN to use when filing taxes.  Learn more about the IP PIN program here –

 

https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/the-identity-protection-pin-ip-pin

 

You should check your credit report annually with each of the three credit reporting bureaus at least once a year.  Federal law provides that one report per year is to be provided by each bureau at your request.  You can find out more information about your free annual credit report at www.annualreport.com

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