If you are the victim of identity theft, follow the steps below to help clear your name and restore your FICO credit score.
Identity Theft Victim Tools
Use this Identity Theft Victim Notice form letter to notify creditors and collection agencies of the fraud.
Steps to take if you are a Victim of Identity Theft
- Set up a folder to keep a detailed history of this crime.
- Keep a log of all your contacts and make copies of all documents.
- File an identity theft report with your local police department.
- Obtain a copy of the report and the case number.
- Contact all creditors by telephone and in writing to inform them of the problem.
- Notify the US Postal Inspector if your mail has been stolen or tampered with.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission to report the problem.
The FTC is the federal clearinghouse for complaints by victims of identity theft. The FTC helps victims by providing information to help resolve financial and other problems that could result from identity theft. Their hotline telephone number is 877-438-4338.
- Call each of the three credit bureaus' fraud units to report the identity theft. Ask to have a "Fraud Alert / Victim Impact" statement placed in your credit file asking that creditors call you before opening any new accounts. Request that a copy of your credit report be sent to you.
- Alert your banks to flag your accounts and contact you to confirm any unusual activity. Request a change of PIN and a new password.
- If you have any checks stolen or bank accounts set up fraudulently, report it to the following companies.
- National Check Fraud Service: 843-571-2143
- SCAN: 800-262-7771
- TeleCheck: 800-710-9898 or 800-927-0188
- CheckRite: 800-766-2748
- CrossCheck: 707-586-0551
- Equifax Check Systems: 800-437-5120
- International Check Services: 800-526-5380
- Contact the Social Security Administration's Fraud Hotline at 800-269-0271.
- Contact your state's vehicle registration department to see if another license was issued in your name. If so, request a new license number and fill out the appropriate complaint form to begin the fraud investigation process.
- Obtain a description of the suspect if possible.
- Obtain witness information.
- Collect supporting documents indicating the total amount of financial loss to you.