So what happens when you become an ID Theft Victim? If you do not have ID Theft Insurance, then you need to handle this yourself. It is a long and arduous process. If you do become an ID Theft Victim, follow these steps:
- Obtain a police report. You are a victim of a crime. You need to report it to the police. Obtain the police report, even if the person who stole your identity is a loved one. Yes, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, etc. may steal your identity. Even your best friend might steal your identity. If you know who stole your identity, you need to tell the police. When the police report is attached to your credit report, the fraud victim alert will permanently stay on your report.
- Notify the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They will share your complaint with law enforcement agencies across the country that are investigating identity theft. When you file a complaint, it also helps policy makers who are working to address the problem of identity theft learn more about what needs to be done about this problem. FTC Identity Theft Clearinghouse, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20580.
- Contact the fraud division of each of the three credit bureaus and ask them to place a fraud victim alert on your credit report.
or write to
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Call 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
or write to
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013
or write to
Fraud Victim Assistance Division
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634
- A fraud alert is free and will stay on there for 90 days. When someone checks your report, they’ll find that you have had fraud activity on your account. It also prevents new credit accounts from easily being opened under your name. You may open new accounts under your name, you will need to take a few steps to prove that it is you trying to open a new account.
- Review the credit reports from each of the three bureaus. Ask the bureaus to provide you with a credit report. You have the right to order a free copy of your credit report from each of the credit bureaus. Make sure you request a copy from each bureau.
- Upon receipt of the reports, carefully review them. Look for any accounts that you did not open. Check the “Inquiries” section of your credit report to see if any unfamiliar companies have requested a copy of your credit report. These companies might have received your credit report because the thief has attempted to open an account in your name
- Immediately close any accounts the thief opened under your name.
- You need to contact the Fraud Victim Division of each of the creditors. Make sure you have every piece of documentation that can prove you did not make those charges. Many companies assume that you are the criminal and want you to pay for the charges.
- You are a victim. You did not incur the charges, so you should not be obligated to pay them. The creditors will treat you like the criminal and will want you to pay the charges. Do not let them bully you. Remember you are the victim and the criminal. Work together with the creditors to resolve the matter.
- Remember that this is a long process. It takes a lot of time and effort on your part to sort it all out. Don’t give and don’t pay the bills if you did not incur the charges. If you do, it will make it more difficult to claim that you are a fraud victim.
- Always communicate with the creditors in writing. When you write to them, make sure you use certified mail or some type of mailing that shows they received the letter.