If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, visit the links provided here. They'll lead you to agencies you should contact immediately to stop any further use of your personal and financial information.
It is important that you report identity theft to your local police department as soon as you become aware that you are a victim. Get a copy of the police report which will assist you when notifying creditors, credit reporting agencies and if necessary, the Social Security Administration (SSA).
If you are the victim of a stolen Social Security number, the SSA can provide information on how to report the fraudulent use of your number and how to correct your earnings record. We encourage you to contact the Fraud Hotline immediately once you suspect identity theft.
The website also provides tips on using and securing your Social Security number. Visit the SSA website for advise on keeping your number safe
Credit Reporting Agencies
If you have reason to believe your personal information has been compromised or stolen, contact the Fraud Department of one of the three major credit bureaus listed below. We strongly encourage you to contact the agency's DIRECT LINE.
Equifax Direct Line for reporting suspected fraud:
P.O. Box 740250
Atlanta, GA 30374
800-685-1111 / 888-766-0008 http:www.equifax.com
Direct Line for reporting suspected fraud:
Credit Fraud Center
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013
888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742) http://www.experian.com
Direct Line for reporting suspected fraud:
Fraud Victim Assistance Department
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634
Phone: 800-916-8800 / 800-680-7289 http://www.tuc.com
When contacting the Credit Reporting Agency, you should request the following:
Instruct them to flag your file with a fraud alert including a statement that creditors should get your permission before opening any new accounts in your name.
Ask them for copies of your credit report(s). (Credit bureaus must give you a free copy of your report if it is inaccurate because of suspected fraud.) Review your reports carefully to make sure no additional fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name or unauthorized changes made to your existing accounts.
NOTE: In order to ensure that you are issued free credit reports, we strongly encourage you to contact the agencies DIRECT LINE (listed above) for reporting fraud. We do not recommend that you order your credit report online.
Be diligent in following up on your accounts. In the months following an incident, order new copies of your reports to verify your corrections and changes, and to make sure no new fraudulent activity has occurred.
Note: Information was provided by the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) website: http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/ It is offered as a courtesy to Carnegie Mellon Univeristy affiliates by Computing Services.
Contacting Your Creditors
If your credit accounts have been tampered with or if new accounts have been opened fraudulently, contact your creditors immediately.
Ask to speak with someone in the security or fraud department. Once you have reported your information, you must also follow up in writing.
Note: Following up with a letter is one of the procedures spelled out in the Fair Credit Billing Act for resolving errors on credit billing statements, including charges that you have not made.
If you discover a change to your shipping or billing address on an existing credit card account, close the account.
When you open a new account, ask that a password be used before any inquiries or changes can be made on the account. Avoid using easily available information like your mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your SSN or your phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers. Avoid the same information and numbers when you create a Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you have reason to believe that an identity thief has accessed your bank accounts, checking account or ATM card, close the accounts immediately. Note: When opening new accounts, insist on password-only access.
The following links provide additional information on identity theft in the United States.
The FTC Identity Theft Hotline provides an automated attendant with options to hear information on ID theft, credit bureaus, requesting fraud alerts, etc. You also have an option to speak with an ID Theft Counselor.
Please note that the FTC does not attempt to resolve individual complaints. However, they do maintain a database of identity theft cases and complaints that is used by law enforcement agencies across North America in investigating these crimes.
The FTC website offers an extensive library on the topic's associated with identity theft. Visit the site for information on:
Remedying the Effects of Identity Theft
What To Do If Your Personal Information Has Been Compromised