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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