Recover from Fraud

Identity Theft is the illegal use of another's personal data, such as name, birth date and Social Security number.

A casually discarded receipt, a personal document or checkbook kept in a desk drawer, mail theft, and dumpster diving are all very real threats. With enough information, a fraudster may open accounts in your name, obtain credit in your name, and possibly obtain a false ID, such as a driver's license. Often the first signs of this appear on your credit report. Here are the steps to take if you've been a victim of identity theft.

  • Notify financial institutions where you have accounts so your accounts can be protected.
  • Immediately report stolen credit, debit and ATM cards to the card issuers.  Rapid reporting limits your liability under federal law for unauthorized use of your ATM or debit card, or for fraudulent transfers.
  • Notify the DMV if your driver's license has been stolen.
  • Place fraud alerts with all three credit bureaus. Freeze your account to prevent issuance of credit in your name.
  • Check credit reports. You are entitled to a free report once a fraud alert is filed.
  • File a request to have fraudulent information removed.
  • Place a fraud alert with the Social Security Administration.
  • Notify the postal inspector if the identity theft is the result of mail fraud. Your local post office can direct you.
  • Review accounts and use standard affidavits to report disputes (available from FTC  - link below).
  • Close accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
  • File a police report and keep a copy.
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov
  • Keep a log of all the steps you take; include the names, titles, phone numbers and extensions of people you speak to.

Reporting resources to assist you

Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Center
Instructions and ID Theft affidavit; detailed information and reporting assistance; links to credit bureaus' fraud reporting centers.

Experian Credit Reporting Bureau Security Freeze
(888) 397-3742
PO Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion Credit Reporting Bureau
(800) 680-7289
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000

Equifax Credit Reporting Agency
(888) 766-0008
PO Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374

Social Security Administration
Fraud Hotline:  (800) 269-0271

Report the fraudulent use of your checks
Check Rite / Global Payments: 800-638-4600
SCAN: (800) 262-7771
Tele-Check: (800) 710-9898
Chex Systems: (800) 328-5121

Department of Motor Vehicles
Check your telephone book for your local office of the State Department of Motor Vehicles.