Thursday, June 18, 2009

Identity Theft: What to do If you become a victim?

I wrote a guest post about my experience with identity theft over at Ask Mr Credit Card, but what happens when you become a victim? Your life changes forever and unfortunately, the victims are burdened with resolving their credit issues. It is very important that you act fast to minimize the further use and damage that the thief can cause.

What to do if you become a victim:

Set up a folder
It is crucial for you to keep a detailed folder with the history of this crime. You are going to have a ton documents that you are going to need and be available once everything is resolved. The crime itself will stay with you for at least 7-10 years and you want to make sure if something comes up, you have the documents to prove you where innocent .

Keep a log of contacts/documents
From the time you realize you identity has been stolen, you need to start making copies of paperwork. Whether it is a collection agency or credit card company, copy any document associated with the theft. You will need to send these documents to various agencies.

Contact creditors
Unfortunately you will need to contact all creditors by phone and in writing to inform them that you have had your identity stolen.  

Contact credit bureaus
Make sure to ask for the fraud units of the three credit report, ask them to have a "Fraud Alert/Victim Impact" statement placed in your credit file asking that creditors call you before opening any new accounts. You will also need to obtain and monitor your credit reports and make sure nothing else shows up that is or looks suspicious.

Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374

Fraud Alerts:

Opt-out of mailing lists:


PO Box 9532
Allen TX, 75013

Opt-out of mailing lists:

Trans Union:
P.O. Box 6790,
Fullerton, CA  92834.

Fraud Alerts:

Opt-out of mailing lists:

File a Police report:
Report the crime to your local police department ASAP. Give them as much details, paperwork or any other evidence for the report to help catch the criminal. Make sure the police report lists the fraudulent accounts. Make sure to get a copy, and make sure it is called an "Identity Theft Report". Keep a log of the agent or who you filed the report with and give it to creditors and banks.

You are going to need and check your credit reports regularly and make sure to keep a lock on all things related. I am actually a Lifelock member, but I pay around $120.00 a year. I don't think you need it, but it is that extra protection. With Lifelock get my credit reports free and if I was to lose my wallet or anything I can call them and they will do all the leg work for it worth $10 month? Probably not, but I enjoy the extra comfort

If you need to write a letter here is a sample letter to write to any collection agency to dispute any identity theft. Whatever you do, never pay a collection agency for identity theft, even if they pressure you and say stuff like "You will be reimbursed once case is solved"

More information on identity theft:

Related Links

I hope this helps and I hope that you never have to experience it. If you do bookmark this page and follow these steps! Have a great weekend

1 comment:

  1. Here is an interesting article on Wired about a guy who was a hacker for one of the largest credit/debit card fraud rings recently.