What is identity theft?
There are two primary classes of economic crime related to identity theft:
*Account takeover occurs when a thief acquires a person's existing credit account information and uses the existing account to purchase products and services. Victims usually learn of account takeover when they receive their monthly account statement.
*In true identity theft or application fraud (often called true name fraud by experts), a thief uses another person's SSN and other identifying information to fraudulently open new accounts and obtain financial gain. Victims may be unaware of application fraud for an extended period of time which can allow the thief to continue the ruse for months, even years.
If You are a Victim of Identity Theft
*Close all affected accounts immediately. Request that they indicate "closed at consumer's request."
*Call police and file a report. Get a copy for your records and to submit as proof to all other creditors.
*Contact all creditors/banks/ credit reporting agencies.
*Complete an I.D. Theft Affidavit.
*Place a "fraud alert" on your credit report that requires creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts.
*Stop payment on outstanding checks.
*Request new ATM/credit cards.
*Change all passwords and PINS.
*Contact your Postal Inspection Service if you believe your mail has been tampered with.
*Set up a folder to keep a detailed history of the crime. Keep a log of all your contacts and make copies of all documents.
*Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to see if another license was issued in your name.
*"Opt Out" of receiving pre-screened credit card offers by calling 1-888-567-8688.
*Order a copy of your credit report frequently ( http://www.annualcreditreport.com).
*Remove your name from mailing, telephone, and email solicitation lists:
Mail Preference Service OR
Telephone Preference Service
Attn: Preference Service Manager
Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 3079
Grand Central Station, NY 10163
National Do-Not-Call Registry:
By telephone, call 1-888-382-1222
(Home & Cell phone numbers)
Pre-approved credit cards:
Call toll-free 1-888-567-8688
(will be requested to provide SS # for processing)
To file a complaint about suspected violations, email
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-888-225-5322.
*Place a continuous credit "fraud alert" on your credit report.
*Get a locking mailbox for incoming mail and use a USPS drop box for outgoing.
*Place a hold on your mail when going on vacation.
*Have banking checks mailed to your financial institution.
*Keep a list of all your account numbers and the telephone numbers in case of loss/theft.
Identity Theft Resources:
FBI: http://www.fbi.gov; USPS: http://www.usps.com IRS: http://www.treas.gov/irs/ci
SS Admin: 1-800-269-0271; http://www.ssa.gov;
Federal Trade Commission: 1-877-IDTHEFT, http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft
Social Security Admin. Fraud Line: 800-269-0271
Federal Trade Comm. ID Theft Hotline: 877-IDTHEFT
3 Major Credit Reporting Agencies
Equifax: 800-525-6285; http://www.equifax.com
Experian: 888-397-3742; http://www.experian.com
TransUnion: 800-680-7289; http://www.transunion.com
*For Further Information Please visit ID Theft Website http://www.IDsafety.org