Identity Theft is a fast growing problem throughout the United States. This can include: criminals using any of your personal identifiers (name, date of birth, Social Security Number, etc.) to obtain credit or to avoid capture by Law Enforcement when the information is given as if it is their own, forgeries, credit card/debit card abuse (using someone else's credit/debit card without consent of the owner), etc.
Preventing Identity Theft.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND THAT SOMEONE HAS MADE YOU A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT
If you don’t have a personal computer, you can go to your local library for internet access.
There are several avenues available for you to resolve this issue, although no single one is a quick fix.
Setup a folder to keep detailed information of the crime! Keep a log of all your contacts and make copies of all documents. Request a copy of your Police Report from your local law enforcement’s records division.
Law Enforcement – This is the only time a citizen does not have to file an offense report in the Jursidiction where the offense occured. This can be done at your local Police Department or a Police Department where the offense occurred. If you live in Texas and the offense occurred in New York, you can go to your local Law Enforcement agency and file the report there. It is most times easier for the victim to go to their local law enforcement rather than playing “phone tag” with an out of town/state agency. When a report is filed at your local law enforcement agency, the report will be forwarded to the proper jurisdiction where the crime occurred.
Credit Bureaus – There are three primary credit-reporting agencies that most companies use. If you believe someone is using your information for financial fraud activities, you may want to alert them so they can put a Security Alert or a Security Freeze on your credit report. Usually when you notify one credit bureau, the other two are automatically notified.
Federal Trade Commission – The FTC is the Federal Government’s agency that oversees issues regarding Identity Theft Crimes. It is a good idea to report your identity theft issue with the FTC as well at their website www.ftc.gov.
Contact the Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271. Often times, the SSA will not issue you a new Social Security Number unless the extent of the fraud caused a significant harm to you where the suspect/offender used your Social Security Number.
Postal Inspector - If you believe your mail was tampered with or stolen, contact them at http://www.usps.gov and file a report.
Contact your credit and financial institutions so that your PINs and/or Passwords can be changed. Also, obtain “affidavits” of the transaction(s) in question, as these will be needed by Law Enforcement in order to investigate the offense.
Contact the business where the offense occurred. Many times the management/business do not know they have an employee who is committing these crimes (such as host/hostesses who ring up a secondary charge for a tip for themselves).
If your checks were stolen or a bank account was set up fraudulently, contact the following companies:
National Check Fraud Service (843) 571-2143
SCAN (800) 262-7771
Telecheck (800) 710-9898
CrossCheck (707) 586-0551
OTHER HELPFUL WEBSITES
TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE