Personal Privacy: What To Do If You Are a Victim of
are many things you can do if you are a victim of identity theft. Most
of the time victims of this type of theft are burdened with the task
of solving the problem themselves. Yet, there are agencies and organizations
that can help you. So it is important that you act quickly to minimize
the damage on your financial reputation.
When resolving the identity
theft, it is best to keep a log of all the steps you got done. This
includes all conversations, plus dates, times, names, and phone numbers.
best to confirm conversations in writing. Be sure to send all letters
in regards to the identity theft via certified mail with a return
receipt requested. Also, keep copies of all letters and documents.
the following four tasks right away when you are an identity theft
the police department where the identity theft took place. Obtain
a copy of this police report. Do this in case you need to send a copy
bank, credit card companies, and to any others who need proof
of the crime.
- Call or write the three top credit bureau fraud
departments. Inform them about your identity theft. You should request
that a fraud
alert be placed on your file. Also, request that no new credit
be granted without your okay.
- Close all accounts with banks
and credit card companies that were gotten into or opened
by the thief. Remember your
quick actions are needed if you are a victim of identity
theft. You must notify your banks and other financial places within
days of learning
of your identity theft. You may be responsible for the first
$50 of your loss. Most of the time, the victim does not have
to pay a dime.
a new checking and saving account with new account numbers
and passwords. Use passwords that are not easy to figure out by
thieves. Do not use
these as passwords: your mother’s maiden name, your
birth date, your pet’s name, your children’s
name, last four digits of your social security number, or
your local Extension Service office or the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) Identity Theft Hotline for more information on
protecting your identity
and what to do if you are a victim of identity theft: 1-202-382-4357
or http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/ .
Written by Katherine
Reuter, Consumer & Family Economics Educator, University of
Edited by: Katherine Reuter, Extension Educator, Consumer
and Family Economics, University of Illinois Extension, Countryside Extension
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