You have discovered that you are a victim of identity theft. Where you go to begin to unravel the mess that a thief has made in your name is a confusing, time consuming, frustrating, and complex process.
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There are many forms of Identity Theft. These can include:
When your card or card number is stolen to make unauthorized purchases or payments. The card can be physically stolen, skimmed, or through other means.
A thief may use your name or health insurance numbers to see a doctor, get prescription drugs, file claims with your insurance provider, or get other care. If the thief’s health information is mixed with yours, your treatment, insurance and payment records, and credit report may be affected. (from the Federal Trade Commission)
Taxpayers can encounter identity theft involving their tax returns in several ways. One instance is where identity thieves try filing fraudulent refund claims using another person’s identifying information, which has been stolen. (from the IRS)
Social Security Number
Your Social Security Number is used to open up fraudulent accounts (utilities, stores, mortgages, etc.). The thief typically has access to other information in order to successfully open these accounts-including your date of birth.
No matter what type of identity theft category you are in, you will want to complete the following steps:
- Police Report-This is a crucial first step. Besides alerting the authorities that this crime has occurred, when you start the disputing process, most if not all companies will ask you for a police report.
- Credit Reports-Check all three credit reports in order to see any fraudulent accounts (or inquiries) that are reflected on the report. Order all three credit reports as they all report differently. The three credit reporting agencies are: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
- Credit Fraud Alert or Freeze-If you have fraudulent information, accounts and/or inquiries on your credit report, you will either want to place a fraud alert or freeze on your credit report. You can learn more about these options through any of the credit reporting agencies noted above.
- Federal Trade Commission-Another form that will be requested when you dispute fraudulent items is a FTC affidavit. This is a form you can either call and fill out over the phone or print and fill out.
Once you have completed these steps, you will want to also contact all of the companies that the thief contacted in order to have the account removed and the correction made to your credit report.
Take detailed notes. Most companies have fraud departments, ask to speak to them first, write down the name of those you spoke to, your conversation, and the phone number that you called.
Mail everything certified.
This website is for informational purposes only; it is not meant to be legal advice.