Report Identity Theft

One of the great features about your subscription to Family Safe Life is that if you ever suspect that your identity has been stolen or compromised in any way, you have complete access to an Identity Recovery Expert that will work tirelessly on your behalf. There are a few things that the Recovery Butler legally cannot do for you, like file a police report (but we can even help with this), however the Recovery Butler will walk you through exactly what you need to do and what the Butler will do for you. In most cases what would have meant hours and hours of work on the part of an identity theft victim can be cut down dramatically and the Recovery Butler will take care of things. So, if you suspect that your identity has been stolen or somehow compromised, please call 1-800-511-9165 immediately.

The Federal Trade Commission and the United States Department of Justice have some excellent information about how to report identity theft. Portions of articles from their web sites can be seen below with links to the pages where the information can be found in it's entirety.

US Department of Justice- This information and more can be found at http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html

What Should I Do If I've Become A Victim Of Identity Theft?

If you think you've become a victim of identity theft or fraud, act immediately to minimize the damage to your personal funds and financial accounts, as well as your reputation. Here's a list -- based in part on a checklist prepared by the California Public Interest Research Group (CalPIRG) and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse -- of some actions that you should take right away:

    Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report the situation, whether Online,
    By telephone toll-free at 1-877-ID THEFT (877-438-4338) or TDD at 202-326-2502, or
    By mail to Consumer Response Center, FTC, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.

Under the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, the Federal Trade Commission is responsible for receiving and processing complaints from people who believe they may be victims of identity theft, providing informational materials to those people, and referring those complaints to appropriate entities, including the major credit reporting agencies and law enforcement agencies. For further information, please check the FTC's identity theft Web pages. You can also call your local office of the FBI or the U.S. Secret Service to report crimes relating to identity theft and fraud.

You may also need to contact other agencies for other types of identity theft:

  • Your local office of the Postal Inspection Service if you suspect that an identity thief has submitted a change-of-address form with the Post Office to redirect your mail, or has used the mail to commit frauds involving your identity;
  • The Social Security Administration if you suspect that your Social Security number is being fraudulently used (call 800-269-0271 to report the fraud);
  • The Internal Revenue Service if you suspect the improper use of identification information in connection with tax violations (call 1-800-829-0433 to report the violations).

Call the fraud units of the three principal credit reporting companies:

Equifax

    To report fraud, call (800) 525-6285 or write to P.O. Box 740250, Atlanta, GA 30374-0250.
    To order a copy of your credit report ($8 in most states), write to P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241, or call (800) 685-1111.
    To dispute information in your report, call the phone number provided on your credit report.
    To opt out of pre-approved offers of credit, call (888) 567-8688 or write to Equifax Options, P.O. Box 740123, Atlanta GA 30374-0123.

Experian(formerly TRW)

    To report fraud, call (888) EXPERIAN or (888) 397-3742, fax to (800) 301-7196, or write to P.O. Box 1017, Allen, TX 75013.
    To order a copy of your credit report ($8 in most states): P.O. Box 2104, Allen TX 75013, or call (888) EXPERIAN.
    To dispute information in your report, call the phone number provided on your credit report.
    To opt out of pre-approved offers of credit and marketing lists, call (800) 353-0809 or (888) 5OPTOUT or write to P.O. Box 919, Allen, TX 75013.

TransUnion

    To report fraud, call (800) 680-7289 or write to P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634.
    To order a copy of your credit report ($8 in most states), write to P.O. Box 390, Springfield, PA 19064 or call: (800) 888-4213.
    To dispute information in your report, call the phone number provided on your credit report.
    To opt out of pre-approved offers of credit and marketing lists, call (800) 680-7293 or (888) 5OPTOUT or write to P.O Box 97328, Jackson, MS 39238.

Contact all creditors with whom your name or identifying data have been fraudulently used. For example, you may need to contact your long-distance telephone company if your long-distance calling card has been stolen or you find fraudulent charges on your bill.

Contact all financial institutions where you have accounts that an identity thief has taken over or that have been created in your name but without your knowledge. You may need to cancel those accounts, place stop-payment orders on any outstanding checks that may not have cleared, and change your Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card, account, and Personal Identification Number (PIN).

Contact the major check verification companies (listed in the CalPIRG-Privacy Rights Clearinghouse checklist) if you have had checks stolen or bank accounts set up by an identity thief. In particular, if you know that a particular merchant has received a check stolen from you, contact the verification company that the merchant uses:

    CheckRite -- (800) 766-2748
    ChexSystems -- (800) 428-9623 (closed checking accounts)
    CrossCheck -- (800) 552-1900
    Equifax -- (800) 437-5120
    National Processing Co. (NPC) -- (800) 526-5380
    SCAN -- (800) 262-7771
    TeleCheck -- (800) 710-9898

Federal Trade Commission

This information and more can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/defend.html#Whatisanidentitytheftreport

What is an Identity Theft Report?

An Identity Theft Report is a police report with more than the usual amount of detail. The Identity Theft Report includes enough detail about the crime for the credit reporting companies and the businesses involved to verify that you are a victim?and to know which accounts and inaccurate information came from identity theft. Normal police reports often don't have many details about the accounts that were opened or misused by identity thieves.

The printed copy of your ID Theft Complaint Form can provide additional details for the police report. The police are not legally required to use the FTC's ID Theft Complaint Form as part of their report. Your police department may have another way to incorporate the details of your crime. In these cases, the police report by itself may serve as an Identity Theft Report.?When you file your Identity Theft Report, the credit reporting companies will permanently block fraudulent information from appearing on your credit report. Filing an Identity Theft Report with the credit reporting companies or with the companies where the thief used your information should ensure that these debts do not reappear on your credit report. An Identity Theft Report can prevent a company from continuing to try to collect debts that result from identity theft, or sell those debts to others for collection. It also allows you to place an extended fraud alert on your credit report. The credit reporting companies may decline your Identity Theft Report if it does not contain enough detail for them to verify that you are a victim of identity theft. In that case, the credit reporting companies have certain timeframes for responding to your Identity Theft Report with requests for additional information.

Creating and using an Identity Theft Report may require two steps:

Step One begins with filing your report with a local, state, or federal law enforcement agency. These agencies may include your local police department, your State Attorney General, the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service, the FTC, or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Some state laws require local police departments to take reports, but there is no law requiring federal agencies to take a report.

In your report, you should give as much information as you can about the crime, including anything you know about the dates of the identity theft, the fraudulent accounts opened and the alleged identity thief. It may help you give the necessary level of detail if you file an online complaint with the FTC, and then ask your local police department to incorporate a copy of the printed ID Theft Complaint into its police report.

Step Two begins when you send the businesses involved and the credit reporting companies a copy of your Identity Theft Report, which you should do by certified mail, return receipt requested. The companies may ask you to give them more information or documentation to help them verify your identity theft. They have to make their request within 15 days of receiving your Identity Theft Report. The credit reporting company or business then has 15 more days to work with you to make sure your Identity Theft Report contains everything they need. They are also entitled to five days to review any information you give them. For example, if you give them information 11 days after they request it, they have until day 16 to make a final decision.

How do I get an Identity Theft Report?

The officer taking your police report can attach or incorporate your ID Theft Complaint into their police report to add more detail. Ask the officer to give you a copy of the official police report that incorporates or attaches your ID Theft Complaint. In some places the officer will not be able to give you a copy of the official police report, but should be able to sign a copy of your ID Theft Complaint and write the police report number in the "Law Enforcement Report" section. Be sure to keep a copy of the police report number ?The police are not legally required to use the FTC's ID Theft Complaint Form as part of their report. Your police department may have another way to include all the details of your identity theft information in their police report. In these cases, the police report by itself may serve as an Identity Theft Report.

Because the detailed Identity Theft Report is required for you to get many important protections, you may wish to use the Law Enforcement Cover Letter (found at ftc.gov) to explain to the police department how important it is for you to get a police report ? as well as the legal protections that a detailed Identity Theft Report gives you.

How do I submit my Identity Theft Report to the credit reporting companies, or to businesses where the thief used my information?

When you send a copy of your Identity Theft Report to the fraud departments of the three major credit reporting companies, include a copy of the credit reporting company cover letter, along with copies of your supporting documentation. Send your information by certified mail with return receipt requested. The mailing addresses for sending Identity Theft Reports to the three major credit reporting companies are on the cover letter. When writing to the fraud departments of each of the companies where the identity thief has committed fraud using your personal information, include copies of the Identity Theft Report, your supporting documentation, and the appropriate cover letter: for fraud on your existing accounts, or for fraud on new accounts. Always send this information by certified mail, with a return receipt requested.

The credit reporting companies have certain timeframes for responding to your Identity Theft Report with requests for additional information.

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