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File a Police Report To complete the Identity Theft Report, you’ll need to contact your local law enforcement office and report the theft. Be sure to get a copy of the police report and/or the report number. Both your police report and the FTC Identity Theft Affidavit combine to create your Identity Theft Report. Your...

File a Police Report

To complete the Identity Theft Report, you’ll need to contact your local law enforcement office and report the theft. Be sure to get a copy of the police report and/or the report number. Both your police report and the FTC Identity Theft Affidavit combine to create your Identity Theft Report. Your Identity Theft Report will help you when working with the credit reporting agencies or any other companies the identity thief may have used to open accounts in your name.

Protect Your Social Security Number

Your social security number may have been compromised, contact the Social Security Administration (800-269-0271) and the Internal Revenue Service (800-829-1040).

If your SSN is compromised and you know or suspect you are a victim of tax-related identity theft, the IRS recommends these additional steps:

  • Respond immediately to any IRS notice; call the number provided or, if instructed, go to IDVerify.irs.gov.
  • Complete IRS Form 14039, “Identity Theft Affidavit”, if your efiled return rejects because of a duplicate filing under your SSN or you are instructed to do so. Use a fillable form at IRS.gov, print, then attach the form to your return and mail according to instructions.
  • Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by paper.
  • Optional: Order IRS Publication 4535 “Identity Theft Prevention and Victim Assistance”

File a report with the Federal Trade Commission.

Once you have determined the extent of the problem, your next step may be to file a report with the Federal Trade Commission. Peters says this is only necessary if you think your identity has in fact been stolen. For credit card fraud, in which only a single account was compromised, an FTC report isn’t warranted.

To file a report, you can visit the government website FTCComplaintAssistant.gov or call 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338).

Contact all your Banks and Credit Card Companies

Place a fraud alert on your credit reports.

Experian: www.experian.com to add an alert and view your report immediately; 1 888 397 3742.

Equifax: 1 800 525 6285, www.equifax.com.

TransUnion: 1 800 680 7289, www.transunion.com

Open new credit card and financial accounts.

Identity theft victims should talk to their financial institutions to determine how best to avoid further damage. It most cases, that will involve closing and reopening accounts, even ones that haven’t been compromised. It can be a tedious process, but a necessary one to avoid a thief from gaining future control of your money.

Scan credit card and bank statements for other unauthorized charges.

Next, pull up your other accounts and scan old statements for other charges you don’t recognize. Don’t forget to review dormant or infrequently used accounts as well.

If you find unknown charges, call the financial institutions to alert them of the problem and request the account be locked or closed.

Review your credit reports for mystery accounts.

Your final stop when it comes to assessing whether you’re a victim of credit card fraud or identity theft is your credit report. Request copies from all three major reporting agencies, and look for any accounts you may not recognize.

By law, you’re entitled to at least one free credit report from each agency each year. While plenty of websites and creditors promise free credit reports, the official site to request them is AnnualCreditReport.com.

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