Tuesday, May 01, 2007

identity stolen?

A short list of things to do, according to Nolo.com, if you discover your identity has been stolen:

  • Make an identity theft affidavit. The FTC has an official identity theft affidavit. You can download the affidavit at consumer.gov/idtheft. Make plenty of copies for yourself.
  • Contact the police.
  • Cancel your credit cards, ATM cards, and phone cards.
  • Call the credit bureaus. Ask them to issue a fraud alert and attach a statement to your report. Get copies of your credit report from each of the bureaus. You can ask that the reports be free of charge because you believe they contain inaccurate information due to fraud.
  • Report stolen checks. Contact your bank and the following agencies: Certegy, (800) 437-5120; TeleCheck, (800) 710-9898; TeleCheck (merchant services), (800) 366-1054.
  • Review your Social Security earnings statement. Look for evidence that your Social Security number has been used fraudulently. Get a copy of your Social Security Earnings and Benefit Statement and look for earnings for jobs you've never had.
  • If someone is using your driver's license number fraudulently, obtain a new number. Your should be prepared to show proof of theft and damage.
  • Take control. Do not waste time waiting for someone else to help you. Do not pay bills you are not responsible for. Be persistent with police, credit bureaus, credit card companies, and banks. Continue to call and write letters. Keep track of your efforts to stop the theft and reverse the damage.