Defense ID Piracy: Respond and recover from identity theft
Reference: Responding and Recovering from Identity Theft – Article From the Federal Trade Commission: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/defend.html
Identity theft is a serious criminal act. Fraud or other criminal activity can occur when your personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge.
If you suspect, take immediate steps to counter identity theft and recover from it.
What should I do if I am a victim of identity theft? What is a fraud alert? What is a credit freeze? What is an identity theft report? What should I do if the police only report identity theft over the Internet or over the phone? What should I do if the local police do not report the case? How can I prove that I am the victim of identity theft? Should I apply for a new Social Security number?
What should I do if I am a victim of identity theft?
If you are a victim of identity theft, please take the following four steps as soon as possible, and record a copy of your conversation details and all correspondence.
Put a fraud alert on your credit report and check your credit report.
Fraud alerts help prevent identity thieves from opening more accounts on your behalf. Contact the following three consumer reporting companies for a free fraud number to add a fraud alert to your credit report. You just need to contact one of the three companies to raise an alert. The company you called needs to contact two other companies and they will also post an alert in their report. If you do not receive confirmation from the company, please contact the company directly to issue a fraud alert.
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; PO Box Atlanta, GA 30374-0241, Block 740241
Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; PO Box Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013
Once you place a fraud alert on your file, you have the right to order a copy of your free credit report from each of the three consumer reporting companies and, if requested, only the last four of your Social Security numbers Digits in your credit report. Once you get your credit report, review it carefully. View inquiries from companies you have not yet contacted, accounts you did not open, and account debts you can not explain. Check for information such as Social Security number, address, name or acronym, and employer’s correctness. If you find fraudulent or inaccurate information, please delete it. See how to correct fraudulent information in a credit report. When you correct your credit report, use your identity theft report and cover letter explaining your request for the fastest and most complete result.
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However, submitting a report to the police and then providing the company with an identity theft report will give you even greater protection. For example, if a company has reported these unauthorized accounts or debts in your credit report, the identity theft report will require them to stop reporting the fraudulent information. Use your cover letter to explain your rights to the company by using identity theft reports. For more information on getting and using identity theft reports, see here.
Once you have resolved the identity theft with your company, you request a letter stating that the company has settled the disputed account and that the fraudulent debt has been discharged. This letter is your best bet if there is a recurring error related to this account in your credit report, or if you again contact fraudulent debt.
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File a petition with the Federal Trade Commission.You may file a complaint with the FTC using the online complaint form or call the FTC Identity Theft Hotline toll free at 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261; or contact Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest 600 Pennsylvania Avenue Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Clearinghouse 20580. If you have any other information or questions, please call the hotline to update your complaint.
By sharing your identity theft complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, you will provide important information to help law enforcement officers across the country track and prevent identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission can refer victims’ complaints to other government agencies and companies for further action and investigate whether the company violates the agency’s laws.
In addition, you may provide the police with a printed copy of your online complaint form for inclusion in his police report. Printed FTC ID Theft Complaint together with the police report constitutes an Identity Theft Report and grants you some protection. This identity theft report can be used to (1) permanently prevent fraudulent information from appearing on your credit report; (2) to ensure that debt no longer appears on your credit report; (3) to prevent the company from continuing to charge for identity theft Of the debt; (4) place an extended fraud alert on your credit report.
Report to local police or police in the community where identity theft occurred.
Call your local police department and tell them you want to submit a report about your identity theft. Ask if they can submit the report in person. If not, can I submit the report via internet or phone? For information on automatic reporting, see below. If the police do not want to accept your report, you can ask for a “miscellaneous incident” report or try other jurisdictions, such as your state police. You can also check with your state Attorney General’s office to see if state law requires police to report identity theft. Check the phone book’s blue pages for phone numbers, or check www.naag.org for a list of state attorneys.
When submitting your report to the local police station, please bring a copy of your FTC ID theft complaint form, your cover letter, and your supporting documents. The cover letter explains why police reports and identity theft complaints are so important to the victim.
Ask officers to attach or include complaints of identity theft into their police reports. Tell them that you need an identity theft report (annex or merger of police reports with your identity theft complaint) to challenge the fraudulent accounts and debt created by identity thieves. (In some jurisdictions, officials will not be able to provide you with a copy of the official police report, but you should be able to sign your complaint and write the police report number in the Law Enforcement Report section.)
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What is a fraud alert? There are two types of fraud alerts: initial alert and an extended alert.
The initial fraud alert is kept on your credit report for at least 90 days. If you suspect you have or will be the victim of identity theft, you may be required to list the initial fraud warning on your credit report. If your wallet is stolen, or you are taken away by a phishing scam, the initial alert is appropriate. With the initial fraud alert, potential creditors must verify your identity using what is referred to in the law as “reasonable policies and procedures” before they can issue credits on your behalf. However, steps taken by potential creditors to verify your identity may not always remind them that the applicant is not you. When placing your initial fraud alert in your credit report, you have the right to order a free credit report from each of the three national consumer reporting companies and, if requested, only the last four digits of your social security number and the number is in your credit report.
An extended fraud alert stays in your credit report for seven years. If you’ve been a victim of identity theft and report to consumers that your company has provided identity theft reports, you can add an extension alert to your credit report. An automated identity theft report, such as an ID theft complaint printed from this site, should be sufficient to get an expanded fraud alert. As fraud alerts increase, potential creditors must actually contact you or meet with you personally to be able to credit you. When you post an extension reminder on a credit report, you have the right to receive two free credit reports within twelve months of each of the three national consumer reporting companies. In addition, the Consumer Reporting Company will remove your name from the list of pre-screened credit quotes unless you ask them to re-list your name before that.
To place any one of these prompts in your credit report or delete it, you will be asked to provide a proper identification: This may include your social security number, name, address, and consumer reporting required by the company Other personal information.
As mentioned above, depending on the type of fraud alert you provide, potential creditors must contact you or take reasonable steps to verify your identity. This may cause some delay if you want to get credit. To compensate for possible delays, you may want to add a cell phone number to the alert that you can easily reach. Remember to keep all the current contact information for the alert.
Fraud alert do not do?
While fraud alerts help prevent identity theft from opening new accounts on your behalf, this is not a solution to all types of identity theft. It will not use your existing credit card or account to protect your identity theft. It also does not protect you from identity theft, creating new accounts whose names do not require credit checks, such as telephone, wireless or bank accounts. Moreover, if an identity theft has occurred while a fraud alert is being sent, the fraud alert itself does not stop it. However, fraud alerts are very useful in blocking identity theft involving the opening of new lines of credit.
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What is a credit freeze?
Many states have laws that allow consumers to “freeze” their credit – in other words, to restrict consumers from accessing his or her credit report. If you freeze your credit, potential creditors and other third parties will not be able to get your credit report unless you temporarily freeze it. This means that an identity thief can not open a new account on your behalf. Freezing your credit will not affect your credit score, nor will it affect your receipt of a free annual credit report, or the purchase of a credit report or rating.
The law of credit freeze varies from state to state. In some states, anyone can freeze their credit profile, while in other states only an identity theft can work. The costs of placing, temporarily lifting and canceling a credit freeze vary. Credit in many countries freezes for the victims of identity theft, while other consumers pay for it – usually $ 10. It is also important to know that these costs are for each credit reporting agency. If you want to freeze your credit, that means freezing with each of the three credit reporting agencies and paying each credit reporting agency.
Click here to find out more about credit-freeze laws in your state, including how to place a credit-freeze law.
Who can access my credit report if I freeze credit?
If you freeze your credit, you will continue to receive your free annual credit report. Even after a credit freeze, you can purchase your credit report and credit score. Companies with whom you do business still have access to your credit reports – such as your mortgage, credit card or mobile phone company, just like those payee organizations that are working for one of these companies. The company will also be able to provide you with pre-screened credit. These are the credit quotes you received in the email, you did not apply. In addition, in some states, potential employers, insurance companies, landlords and other non-creditors can still obtain credit reports with a credit freeze.
If I need to have someone check my credit report, can I temporarily lift the credit freeze?
If you want to apply for a loan or a credit card, or if you want others to access your credit report, and there are no exceptions to this credit freeze law, you need to temporarily cancel your credit hold. You will complete the credit freeze by using the PIN number sent by each credit reporting agency. In most states, you have to pay a fee to lift the credit freeze. Most states now offer credit reporting agencies a three-day credit freeze. This may prevent you from getting “instant” credit, which may be important when considering a credit freeze.
Credit freeze can not do?
Although a credit freeze helps prevent identity thieves from opening most new accounts on your behalf, this is not the solution to all types of identity theft. For example, an identity thief using an existing credit card or other accounts will not protect you. There are also new accounts, such as phone, wireless and bank accounts, ID card thieves can open the account without a credit check. In addition, some creditors may open an account without obtaining a credit report. Moreover, if identity theft has occurred while the credit is frozen, the freeze itself will not be able to stop it. Although a credit freeze may not protect you in this situation, it can protect you from most identity theft involving the opening of new lines of credit.
What is the difference between a credit freeze and a fraud alert?
Fraud alerts are another tool for people who use identity theft, or who suspect they may be stolen. With a fraud alert, businesses can still check your credit report. Depending on whether you provide an initial fraud alert for 90 days or an extended fraud alert, potential creditors must contact you or use “reasonable policies and procedures” as the law states to verify your identity before you can issue a credit card on your behalf. However, steps taken by potential creditors to verify your identity may not always remind them that the applicant is not you.
On the other hand, a credit freeze will prevent potential creditors and other third parties from accessing your credit report unless you have been lifted or have established a relationship with the company. Some consumers use credit freeze because they feel they give more protection. Like the credit freeze, fraud alerts are mainly valid for new credit accounts opened in your name, but may not prevent the thief from using your existing account or opening a new one, such as a new phone or wireless account, where credit Usually not checked. Moreover, fraud warnings may only be issued by those who have stolen ID cards or suspected of being stolen. In some states, anyone can freeze credit.
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What is an identity theft report?
The identity theft report is one more police report than usual. The Identity Theft Report contains detailed information about the criminal activity of credit reporting companies and related businesses to confirm that you are a victim and to know which accounts and inaccurate information comes from identity theft. Normal police reports often do not have much detail about accounts opened or abused by identity thieves.
A printed copy of your Identity Card Theft Complaint Form may provide additional details as reported by the police. The police do not legally need to use the FTC’s Identity Piracy Complaint Form as part of its report. Your police department may have another way to organize your criminal details. In these cases, the police report itself can serve as an identity theft report. When you submit an identity theft report, the credit reporting company will permanently prevent fraudulent information from appearing on your credit report. Submitting an identity theft report to a company that uses your information with a credit reporting company or a thief should ensure that the debt does not reappear on your credit report. Identity theft reports prevent companies from continuing to try to collect debts resulting from identity theft or sell them to others for collection. It also allows you to place an extended fraud alert on your credit report. The credit reporting company may d, ny your identity theft report if it does not contain enough detail to confirm that you are the victim of identity theft. In this case, the credit reporting company will have some time to respond to your identity theft report and ask for more information.
Creating and using an identity theft report can take two steps:
The first step is to submit a report to a local, state or federal law enforcement agency. These agencies may include your local police department, your state attorney general, the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Trade Commission, or the U.S. Postal Service. Some state laws require local police departments to report, but no law requires federal agencies to report.
In your report, you should provide as much information as possible about the crime, including what you know about the theft, fraudulent accounts, and so-called identity thieves. If you file an online complaint with the FTC, you may be able to help provide the necessary details and then ask the local police department to include a copy of the printed identity theft complaint in their police report.
The second step, when you send a copy of your Identity Theft report to a business and credit reporting company involved, you should ask for a copy of the receipt through a certified email. The company may ask you for more information or documentation to help them verify your identity theft. They must make a request within 15 days of receiving your identity theft report. The credit reporting company or business has another 15 days to work with you to make sure your identity theft report contains everything they need. They also have the right to review any information you give them for five days. For example, if you give them information 11 days after they requested it, they will make the final decision by the 16th day.
How do I get an identity theft report? Police officers who receive a police report may attach or include your identity theft complaint in their police report to add more detail. Ask the officer to give you a formal police report containing or attaching your ID theft complaint. In some places, police officers will not be able to provide you with a copy of the official police report but should be able to sign a copy of your Identity Theft Complaint and write a police report number in the Law Enforcement Report section. Be sure to keep a copy of the police report Police do not legally need to use the FTC’s Identity Miscommunication Complaint form as part of their report. Your police department may have another way of including all the details of your identity theft message in your police report. In these cases, the police report itself can serve as an identity theft report.
Due to the need for detailed identity theft reports for many important protections, you may want to use the “law enforcement cover letter” to explain to the police department the importance of getting your police report – and legal protection for detailed identity theft reports to you.
How to submit my Identity Theft Report to businesses that credit reporting companies or thieves use my information? When you send a copy of the Identity Theft Report to the Fraud Department of the Big Three Credit Reporting Corporation, attach a copy of the cover letter of the credit reporting company along with a copy of your supporting documentation. Send your message through the certification email, request a receipt. The mailing address for sending an identity theft report to the three major credit reporting companies is in the cover letter. Include a copy of the identity theft report, your proof of attachment, and the appropriate cover letter when fraudulently using your personal information to identify fraudsters at each company: Fraudulent new accounts. This information is always sent via a certified email with a receipt request. Credit reporting companies have some time to respond to your identity theft report and ask for more information. Back to top What should I do if the police only report identity theft over the Internet or over the phone? A special part of the Federal Trade Commission identity theft complaint is not the police report that is submitted face to face to help you use it to supplement an automated police report. If you submit a police report online or by phone, complete the “Automatic Reporting Information” section of your Identity Theft Complaint. A copy of any confirmation submitted from the police is attached. However, if you have the option, submit the police report yourself and do not use automated reporting. Consumer Reports It is more difficult for companies and information providers to validate information in automated reports, and they may require additional information and/or documentation.
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What should I do if the local police do not report the case?
At the federal, state and local levels, efforts are being made to ensure that local law enforcement agencies understand the importance of identity theft, their impact on victims and the police report. However, we still hear reports from some departments. If you encounter difficulties, the following tips may help you to get reports:
Provide law enforcement officials with a copy of Law Enforcement Letter explaining why police reports and identity theft reports are important to both victims and industry.
Provide as many documents as possible to prove your situation. Debt collection letters, credit reports, printed complaints of identity theft, and other evidence of fraudulent activity can help prove the legitimacy of your case. Provide the police with a copy of “Make up for identity theft”, which shows that the police report is necessary to protect your rights.
If local authorities tell you they can not report it, stick to it. Emphasize the importance of police reporting; many creditors demand that your dispute be resolved. Remind them that the consumer reporting company will automatically prevent fraudulent accounts and bad debts from appearing on your credit report, but only if you can give them a copy of the police report. In addition, police reports may be required to obtain fraudulent applications and other records from the company.
If you are told that identity theft is not a crime under your state law, please submit a miscellaneous incident report.
If you can not let the local police report, try your county police. If not, try your state police.
Some states require the police to report identity theft. Check with your State Attorney General’s office at www.naag.org to see if your state has this law.
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How can I prove that I am the victim of identity theft?
An application or other transaction related to the theft of your identity may help you prove that you are the victim. For example, you may be able to show that the signature on the application is not yours. These documents may also contain information about the identity theft of law enforcement valuable information. By law, if you file your request in writing and attach a police report, the company must provide you with a copy of your identity theft related application or other business transaction record. Read more about getting information from the business and using this model letter to request this information.
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Should I apply for a new Social Security number?
In some cases, Social Security may issue a new social security number to you at your request, and continue to experience problems if you try to resolve the problem that comes with identity theft. Carefully consider this option. A new Social Security number may not solve your identity theft problem and may actually create new problems. For example, a new social security number does not necessarily guarantee a new credit history because the credit bureau may combine the credit history of the old social security number with the credit history of the new social security number. Even if the old credit information is not associated with the new social security number, there is no credit history below the new social security number which may make it harder for you to get credit. Finally, there is no guarantee that new social security numbers will not be abused by identity thieves.