Automated ID Theft Reports Are Less Effective than Face-to-Face

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How effective are using automated reports to document identity theft?

Automated ID Theft Reports Are Less Effective than Face-to-Face

The process of reporting identity theft requires a substantial amount of paperwork to be done by the victim. While it may be time-consuming, it is definitely necessary. In an effort to expedite the reporting process you may discover that federal and state agencies, as well as some local police departments, offer “automated” reports.

Automated reports don't require a face-to-face meeting to record your information. With the exception of giving a report by telephone, it is a self-directed process using forms that can be submitted online or by mail. If you have a choice, forego the automated report and seek to be interviewed personally. Yes, it may take more time out of your day, but it is often more difficult for the consumer reporting agency or information provider to verify your report information if you use automated documents. It is likely that you will need to provide a consumer reporting agency more information or documentation in addition to the automated one.

In some cases, you will find that local law enforcement will be resistant to taking your information to report identity theft. If you have trouble, be persistent. Stress that many creditors require a police report to resolve your dispute. And, if you are told that identity theft is not a crime under your state law, ask to file a Miscellaneous Incident Report instead.

For more information about reporting procedures, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online or call the identity theft hotline at: 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338); TDD: 202-326-2502.



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