|ID Theft Damage Control
Would you let someone take all the money in your bank account without your
permission? Or allow someone to open up new credit card accounts in your
name and run up a large debt on each one without your approval? Regardless
of what you want, it can still happen to you, in one of the fastest growing
crimes to affect consumers - ID Theft.
No matter how many precautions you take, you can still become a victim of
Identity Theft. But don't despair - taking action immediately can
help lessen the extensive damage that this illegal activity can leave in
its wake. Here are some considerations if you suspect someone else is using
Take the first step in precautionary measures by checking your Experian,
Equifax, and TransUnion credit reports.
- Contact the fraud department of one of the three national
credit reporting agencies immediately. One call to any of the three
national credit reporting agencies will place a "fraud alert"
on all three of your credit reports.
- Experian: PO Box 2104, Allen, Texas 75013-2104
- Equifax: PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374
- TransUnion: PO Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. You can call their
Identity Theft hotline at (toll-free) 877.IDTHEFT (877.438.4338), TDD:
202.326.2502, contact them by mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal
Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580,
or go to www.consumer.gov/idtheft to file a fraud complaint.
- Contact the Social Security Administration's Fraud Hotline:
- Contact your bank and all creditors by phone and in writing regarding
- Contact your local police to see if state consumer protection laws
apply; also, contact your local postmaster if you suspect mail was used
to commit the fraud. You can also call the US Postal Service Crime Hot
- Visit The Identity Theft Resource Center at http://www.idtheftcenter.org.
It is a nationwide non-profit organization that provides support to
victims and broadens public awareness.
- Contact Call For Action, Inc., another non-profit group that provides
phone counseling to identity theft victims at 866.434.6854.