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Resources and Expertise to Combat Identity Theft, Scams, and Social Engineering
Have you just learned you're a victim of identity theft? If so, there are 5 important steps to take in order to recover from the loss of your identity. InsideIDTheft.info worked with Identity Theft Expert Bob Sullivan of MSNBC to create this video assisting consumers with the steps they need to take as soon as they learn they are a victim of identity theft.
If you are a victim of identity theft, you can take steps to restore your good name and repair any damage caused by the identity thief to your financial accounts and credit report.
First, go to the Creditors page located on this site. There you will be provided with information about contacting the financial institutions and credit card companies you do business with. You’ll learn about closing current accounts that may be at risk; obtaining new credit cards and financial accounts with new card and account numbers; reviewing recent transactions; disputing fraudulent credit card charges or financial account transactions; and, having monies stolen from your accounts restored.
Second, as you will learn on the Creditors page, it is imperative that you contact the three major credit bureaus and place a 90 Day Fraud Alert on your credit files. Go to the Fraud Alerts page located on this site. Placing a Fraud Alert on your credit file will warn existing and new creditors that you are a victim of identity theft. By warning potential and existing creditors, you reduce the risk of an identity thief modifying existing lines of credit or opening new lines of credit. On the Fraud Alerts page you will learn of other types of fraud alerts that may be applicable to your specific situation.
Third, go to the Identity Theft Affidavit page located on this site. There you will be provided with information about completing the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Affidavit. The Federal Trade Commission (www.FTC.gov) developed an identity theft affidavit that is accepted by most creditors and businesses if an identity thief used your personal information to open a new account. Although not all creditors and businesses accept the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Affidavit, it is useful to go ahead and complete the affidavit as it will assist you in gathering and organizing the information you will need as you recover from identity theft.
Fourth, go to the Police Report page located on this site. There you will be provided with information about filing a police report with the appropriate law enforcement agency. In the majority of identity theft cases, the appropriate law enforcement agency to file an identity theft report with will be your local city or county police department, county sheriff or state police, but there are some exceptions. The Police Report page will assist you in determining how to file a report.
Finally, be sure to change passwords and PINS (personal identification numbers) that you use for financial accounts and protected access web sites. While this is a practice you should incorporate on a regular basis, you should assume that an identity thief may have gained access to your passwords and PINS and therefore you should change them as soon as possible.
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