Identity Theft: Six Steps Every Victim MUST Follow

Identity Theft: Six Steps Every Victim MUST Follow…

Cleaning up the mess left by identity theft is time consuming, stressful, and expensive. Some people actually give up and just pay off the fraudulent charges of identity theft because it’s the only way that they can improve their credit rating. Here are the steps you need to follow if you believe that you are a victim of identity theft:

Step 1: Contact the Three Major Credit Bureaus

Contact the fraud departments at each bureau. Explain that you are a victim of identity theft and that you would like to be contacted personally before any credit is issued in your name.

Equifax (800) 525-6285

Experian (888) 397-3742

TransUnion (800) 680-7289

Insist that they place the account under investigation for identity theft if it is to remain on your credit report.

Step 2: Order Your Credit Report.

Order your credit reports to check for accounts that may have been fraudulently opened in your name. As the victim of identity theft, you are entitled to a free copy of your report from each credit bureau.

Step 3: File a Police Report

Companies who have issued credit in your name will not take you seriously without a police report, which will protect your legal rights.

Step 4: Contact Your Local Post Office

If you were a victim of identity theft due to someone stealing your mail to obtain your information, officially report this fact to your local postmaster.

Step 5: Contact the Social Security Administration and Department of Motor Vehicles

If the thief is using your social security or driver’s license number to commit identity theft, you might need to obtain new numbers from these agencies. Go to“Is New Social Security Number a Good Option?” for more information.

Step 6: Contact All The Companies Who Granted Credit to the Identity Thief

Communicating by telephone does not protect your rights. Send certified letters and insist that they communicate with you in writing.

 

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About the Author

Lana is a real life Identity Theft Victim. Identity Theft Manifesto is a result of her own struggles to clear her credit, her name and reputation. She is on the mission to research, learn more and educate her readers about ID Theft Crime.
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  • snahofivan

    I noticed in your article that you recommend that people go to the Social Security office to get a new number. Actually, having worked for 10 years at Social Security, in an area with very high ID theft levels, I can definitely testify that getting a new number isn’t the answer. First of all, you can’t always get a new number. It is very difficult to meet the level of criteria required by Soc Sec to get one. Second, even if you have a new number, the old number remains yours for life. I’ve seen people get a new number, and someone has already used the new number even before it was assigned to them. They ended up with two numbers to track, and twice the risk of identity theft than they had before.
    Your best bet is to clean up your credit, and do everything you can to prevent future ID theft. Once they have your information, it is out of your control. Prevent ID theft from happening to start with. Protect your information.

  • Snahofivan,

    Thank you for bringing up a very valuable point in your comment. I must say that I am not advocating people to request a new SS#. It is only one of the options. In my case, I figured the best thing to do is to, as you said it yourself, to clear up my record, credit and reputation. You are right, once someone gets a hold of your personal information, it is out of control. In many cases the information gets sold over and over again. And you keep getting more new problems. Maybe then it would be a good idea for SS Administration to give a new Social Security Number. What do you think? Let us know. Anyhow, I would love to know more from you, as someone dealing with it on every-day basis. Would you share with us some stories? What is the most memorable case you had to come across? Please do tell, I am very much interested. I will also email you and, perhaps, we can keep a conversation going.
    Respectfully,
    Lana

  • Pingback: Is New Social Security Number a good option? | Identity Theft Protection Tips()

  • Karen S.

    There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in this subject. So, just want to say great job!

  • Credit Repair Info

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future. Thanks!