Finance News

Life after Identity Theft Resource Guide

The first step is to request a fraud alert be placed on your credit by contacting any of the three credit agencies: Equifax 800-525-6285, TransUnion 800-680-7289, or Experian 888-397-3742.  The company that you contact is required to contact the other two offices on your behalf.  You must obtain your credit report from all three agencies and look for any inquiries from any companies that you have not contacted; accounts that you did not open, and any debts on your accounts that you cannot explain.  Any fraudulent obligations should be reported to the local police and Federal Trade Commission online or by calling 877-438-4338.

If you have become a victim of identity theft or believe you may be at risk and you are outside of the United States you are encouraged to contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialist at 800-908-4490 to complete Form 14039, the Federal Trade Commission or FTC’s Complaint Assistant, the Social Security Administration, and the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

The Federal Trade Commission website offers ample insight on how to get started, credit freezes, prevention, and sample letters and enclosures that will assist you with any type of dispute.   The FTC supplies a “Stop Calls and Letters From a Debt Collector”, a “Memo from FTC to Law Enforcement”, and a “Uniform Minor’s Status Declaration”.   The FTC’s Complaint Assistant site delivers prevention of Unwanted Telemarketing, Text, SPAM, Online Shopping Complaints, Internet Service Issues, and the one and only, do not call registry www.donotcall.gov.

The Social Security Administration is able to issue you a new social security number.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center emphasizes on serving the broader law enforcements; local, state, and federal communities as well as Cyber Crime Task Forces.  The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.   These agencies will lock down your credit so tight that even you will find it difficult to access.  If you chose not to utilize these resources it may take you years, thousands of dollars, and plenty of headaches to recuperate from the damage.

Additional and helpful identity theft information may be found on the IRS website at www.irs.gov/uac/identity-Protection.  The IRS does not share your personal information with the FTC or other agencies, so you will need to contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov.   We hope that you will never need these resources, but we are confident that they will be of value at the time of necessity.