Identity Theft - What you need to know
Your rights under the law:
To have a police report taken - (which entitles you to)
- A 7 year fraud alert.
- Have inaccurate or fraudulent information blocked from your credit report.
- Receive a copy of all application and transaction records on accounts opened fraudulently in your name.
Have the account removed from your credit report once you have provided evidence the account is fraudulent.
Organize Your Case
- Keep a detailed log in a notebook of any phone calls that you receive or make. Remember to list the names of people, their title, phone numbers, and what was said in the conversation.
- Send all correspondence to collection agencies, credit issuers and other entities via Certified Mail-Return Receipt Requested, to confirm the letter was delivered.
- Confirm all conversations and agreements in writing for your protection.
- Keep all receipts of expenses and copies of correspondence.
Access the Damage and Begin Recovery Steps
- For Stolen Plastic Cards or Checks: Contact the financial institution immediately and close the affected accounts. Put passwords on new accounts. Order new checks.
- Unauthorized Transactions: Notify the financial institution as soon as possible, usually within 30-60 days. Some transactions can only be disputed within a specific timeframe.
- If you social security number has been used fraudulently, then you will need to order a copy of your credit reports from all three reporting agencies.
- Review your credit reports carefully.
- Note your findings.
- Contact the police in the jurisdiction where you live and file a police report.
- Contact all credit issuers, utility companies and collection agencies where a fraudulent account was opened, request the accounts be closed, and provide them with the documents needed to prove the account was opened fraudulently.
- Get any applications or transaction records from these companies and forward them to the police department.
- Advise the credit reporting agencies they must remove the fraudulent account from your file unless information is provided to them to prove the account is valid.
- Get "Letters of Clearance" from the credit issuers. Keep these in your paperwork for a least 10 years.
- Check your credit reports again to make sure all corrections have been made.