Additional Protection Steps - Financial Crimes
If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, these are a few steps to assist in preventing being further victimized.
Step 1: Contact your bank and other credit card issuers
If the theft involved existing bank accounts (checking or savings accounts as well as credit or debit card) you should do the following:
- Close the account that was used fraudulently or put stop payments on all outstanding checks that might have been written without your knowledge.
- Close all credit card accounts that were used fraudulently.
- Close any account accessible by debit card if it has been accessed fraudulently.
- Open up new accounts protected with a secret password or personal identification number (PIN)
If the identification theft involved the creation of new bank accounts, you should do the following:
- Call the involved financial institution and notify them of the identity theft.
- They will likely require additional notification in writing. (See step 4)
Step 2: Contact all three (3) major credit reporting bureaus
First, request the credit bureaus place a “Fraud Alert” on your file. A fraud alert will put a notice on your credit report that you have been the victim of identity theft. Merchants and financial institutions may opt to contact you directly before any new credit is taken out in your name. Some states allow for a Security Freeze in which a PIN can be designated on your credit file and subsequently the PIN must then be given in order for credit to be extended. Ask the credit reporting bureaus if your state is participating in the Security Freeze Program.
www.mytruston.com – Provides useful information related to identity theft and indicates which states participate in the Security Freeze program.
www.annualcreditreport.com – Provides one free credit report, per credit bureau agency, per year, with subsequent credit reports available at a nominal fee.
The following is a list of the three major credit-reporting bureaus for victims to report fraud:
Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
Fraud Victim Assistance Dept
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
Nat. Consumer Assist
P.O. Box 9530
Allen, TX 75013
Step 3: File a report with the Federal Trade Commission
You can go online to file an identity theft complaint with the FTC www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov or by calling 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.
Step 4: Contact creditors involved in the identity theft by phone and in writing
This step involves contacting all the companies or institutions that provided credit or opened new accounts for the suspect or suspects. Some examples include banks, mortgage companies, utility companies, telephone companies, cell phone companies, etc. Provide the creditors with a completed Identity Theft Affidavit (some may require that you use their own affidavit), Letter of Dispute, and a copy of the FACTA Law.