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A guide for victims of identity theft, detailing what to do, and who to contact.
- Step 1 Report the incident to the fraud department of the three major credit bureaus.
- Step 2 Contact the fraud department of each of your creditors.
- Step 3 Contact your bank or financial institution.
- Step 4 Report the incident to law enforcement.
- What else can I do?
- Minimize your risk
This kit is designed to help you through the process of resolving your identity theft case and clearing your name. While there are many general identity theft resource guides available, this kit was specifically developed to provide assistance to New Hampshire residents who are identity theft victims.
Navigating through the system as an identity theft victim can be a lengthy and confusing process. As you contact law enforcement, creditors, and financial institutions, it is important that you keep track of the actions you take. When your identity is stolen your personal identifiers can be misused in a variety of different ways. As soon as you become aware that your information has been misused, there are several basic steps you should take that apply to nearly all kinds of identity theft cases:
Step 1 Contact the Credit Bureaus
Report the incident to the fraud department of the three major credit bureaus.
- Ask the credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit report.
- Order copies of your credit reports so you can review them to see if any additional fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name or if any unauthorized charges have been made to other accounts.
- Request a victim’s statement that asks creditors to contact you prior to opening new accounts or making changes to any existing accounts.
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
To order your report: 1-800-685-1111
To report fraud: 1-800-525-6285
PO Box 9532
Allen, TX 75013
To order your report: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
To report fraud: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
Step 2 Contact Your Creditors
Contact the fraud department of each of your creditors. Gather the contact information for each of your credit accounts (credit cards, utilities, cable bills, etc.) and call the fraud department for each creditor.
Report the incident to each creditor, even if your account at that institution has not been tampered with. Close the accounts that you believe have been compromised. Ask the credit bureaus to place an alert on any accounts that remain open.
Follow-up in writing immediately. The Federal Trade Commission provides an Identity Theft Affidavit, a standardized form used to report new accounts fraudulently opened in your name. Check with the company to see if they accept this form. If not, request that they send you their fraud dispute form.
Confirm all conversations in writing. Follow behind your phone call with a letter and any necessary documentation to support your claim.
Step 3 Contact Your Bank
Contact your bank or financial institution.
If your checks have been stolen, or if you believe they have been used, contact your bank or credit union and stop payment right away.
Put stop payments on any outstanding checks that you are unsure about.
Contact the major check verification companies and request they notify retailers who use their databases not to accept your checks:
- TeleCheck: 1-800-710-9898 or 927-0188
- Cetergy, Inc. 1-800-437-5120
- International Check Services: 1-800-631-9656
Call SCAN at 1-800-262-7771 to learn if bad checks have been passed in your name.
If you suspect your accounts have been compromised, cancel your checking and savings accounts and obtain new account numbers.
Step 4 Report the Incident to Law Enforcement
Report the incident to law enforcement.
Contact your local police department or sheriffs office to file a report.
When you file the report, provide as much documentation as possible, including copies of debt collection letters and credit reports.
Request a copy of the police report. Some creditors will request to see the report to remove the debts created by the identity thief.
What else can I do?
- File a complaint with the FTC’s Identity Theft Clearinghouse.
The Clearinghouse is the federal government’s repository for ID theft complaints. Complaint information is entered into a central database, the Consumer Sentinel, which is accessed by many local and state law enforcement agencies. Call the FTC’s toll-free hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT or complete an online complaint form .
- Get assistance through New Hampshire’s Consumer Hotline.
New Hampshire’s Attorney General provides a toll-free consumer protection hotline. Contact the hotline toll free at 1-888-468-4454.
Report Mail Theft to the US Postal Inspection Service.
The US Postal Inspection Service will investigate if your mail has been stolen by an identity thief and used to obtain new credit or commit fraud. Incidents should be reported to your nearest US Postal Inspection Service district office .
- Protect your Social Security number.
The Social Security Administration can verify the accuracy of the earnings reported on your social security number. To check for inaccuracies or fraud, order a copy of your Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement (PEBES) from the Social Security Administration. Call 1-800-772-1213 or visit www.ssa.gov .
Minimize your risk
Learn more about what you can do to protect the privacy of your personal information by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft website or the AARP Identity Theft website. Monitoring your credit report is a key element in protecting yourself against ID theft. Federal law allows you one free credit report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus. To obtain your free annual credit report, go to www.annualcreditreport.com and follow the instructions.