Reporting Identity Theft, Part II
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What steps do I take after reporting to the police, the credit bureau, and the FTC?
Here are more ways for reporting identity theft:
- Check your credit report for fraud. For reporting credit card fraud, call the credit bureaus and credit lenders and request that the involved accounts be blocked. The credit bureau is required by law to notify lenders and block the fraudulent activity from your credit report. Ask the credit bureau to contact anyone who received your credit report in the past six months and make them aware of fraud to your accounts.
- Close all credit, debit, and/or ATM accounts you think may have been tampered with and use new, secure passwords. Ask creditors to provide the police with records documenting any cases of fraud. You may be required to submit your police report and they, in turn, must provide the records within 30 days of your request at no cost. Also ask for a letter stating that your accounts have been closed and that you are clear of the fraudulent debt.
- If you think your checking account has been compromised, ask your bank to put an identity theft alert on your file and report the matter to ChexSystems, a checking account consumer reporting agency. Ask your bank to stop payments on outstanding checks and provide you with a fraud affidavit.
- Check your credit card statements regularly and check your credit report every sixty days. You are entitled, by law, to a free yearly credit report from each of the three credit bureaus in addition to the report you receive with your fraud alert and police report. Information about your free credit report is available through the FTC.
- Always collect names and dates, take notes, and keep records of all conversations, emails, and letters you send and receive when reporting and dealing with identity theft. Send all correspondence via return receipt requested, certified mail and keep all records of mail delivery. Keep receipts of all expenses involved in your case (copies, travel, childcare, lost wages, etc.).
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